Quantcast

Back to browse highlights

Bronze man and centaur

Period:
Geometric
Date:
mid-8th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/8 in. (11.10 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.2072
  • Description

    Half man, half horse, the centaurs were thought to inhabit remote wooded areas. In much of Greek art, they appear in combat with humans and, by implication, are the antithesis of civilized men. The classic rendering of this subject can be seen in the metopes of the Parthenon in Athens. It is, however, already fully presented in this bronze statuette. The outcome of the conflict is indicated by the end of the spear preserved in the centaur's left flank and by the greater height of the man.

  • Provenance

    Said to be from Olympia (Mertens 1985, p. 19).

    From 1906, collection of J. Pierpont Morgan, purchased on the art market, Paris; acquired December 17, 1917, gift of J. Pierpont Morgan.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 44, fig. 23.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 51-52, fig. 29.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 51-52, fig. 29.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Buffalo Fine Arts Academy, Albright Art Gallery. 1937. Master Bronzes, Selected from Museums and Collections in America. Buffalo: Burrow, no. 62.

    Alexander, Christine. 1939. Early Greek Art: A Picture Book. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Alexander, Christine. 1950. "A Marble Lekythos and the Elgin Athena." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 9(2): p. 242.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 51, 345, fig. 13.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 22, 173, pl. 12b.

    Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1958. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 2. Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana, p. 468, fig. 650.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, p. 20, pl. 3d.

    von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik, no. 13, pl. 2.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

    Heilmeyer, Wolf-Dieter. 1982. Frühgriechische Kunst : Kunst und Siedlung im geometrischen Griechenland. Berlin: Gebr. Mann, pp. 30, 47, figs. 37-38.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Kentauroi et Kentaurides, no. 132.

    1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

    Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneleise, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1997. Thespiades-Zodiacus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen, Typhon, no. 27; Zeus, no. 14.

    Mertens, Joan. 2000. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1999-2000." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 58(2): p. 10.

    Shear, Ione Mylonas. 2002. "Mycenaean Centaurs at Ugarit." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 122: pp. 149-50, pl. 4, C.

    Padgett, J. Michael. 2003. The Centaur's Smile: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum, no. 13, pp. 133-36.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 33, pp. 50, 415.

    Neils, Jenifer. 2009. "Beloved of the Gods: Imag(in)ing Heroes in Greek Art." Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, Sabine Albersmeier, ed. Baltimore: Walters Art Museum, p. 109, fig. 63.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 62.

    Paris, Rita, Elisabetta Setari, and Nunzio Giustozzi. 2013. Mostri: Creature Fantastiche della Paura e del Mito. Milan: Electa, no. 2, p. 189.

  • See also
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
249228

Close