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Lot 1004* - A206 Decorative Arts - Thursday, 21. September 2023, 10.00 AM


Hellenistic, 3rd-1st century B.C.
Marble carved full round, with sintering. Male lion with a magnificent mane, pushing a prey animal (probably a gazelle) to the ground. On a later marble base.
L 103, H 68 cm. With base 78 cm.

Heavily weathered. In part in fragmentary condition, and larger losses. Heavy wear in the head area.

Provenance: Sotheby's Antiquities, London, July 11, 1988, lot No. 399.

Lion sculptures were an important part of the Greek sculptural scene and were often located in front of important buildings such as temples or tombs. The original composition, which may have adorned the gable of a small building, consisted of two lions grabbing their prey. The motif is one of the most famous not only in archaic art, but throughout antiquity and beyond.

Comparative literature:
- Thoralf Schröder, Contexts and Fields of Meaning of Round Sculptured Lions and Sphinxes in Early Greece, in: Lorenz Winkler-Horaček (ed.): Wege der Sphinx: Monster zwischen Orient und Okzident; eine Ausstellung der Abguss-Sammlung Antiker Plastik des Instituts für Klassische Archäologie der Freien Universität Berlin. Rahden/Westf.: Leidorf. pages 137-162.
- Bent Jensen, Lions in antiquity: archaeological evidence for the existence of the lion in ancient Greece, 2016.
- Nicolas Zenzen, The noble monster: the semantics of the lion in pictorial works of the ancient Near East and Greece, in Tübinger archäologische Forschungen, vol. 26, 2018.
- Picón, Carlos A., Joan R. Mertens, Elizabeth J. Milleker, Christopher S. Lightfoot, and Seán Hemingway, with contributions by Richard De Puma, Art of the Classical World in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome, 2007, page 87, fig. 91.

CHF 16 000 / 18 000 | (€ 16 490 / 18 560)