According to myth, Zeus fell in love with Europa, the daughter of a Phoenician king, and disguised himself as a bull to carry her across the sea to Crete on his back. On Crete, Zeus made love to Europa, producing two or three children, including the legendary king of Crete, Minos. Many depictions of the myth of Europa and the bull occur in Roman times, particularly on red-glaze, sigiliata pottery such as this piece.
Gaul (central) or Britain
1903. Collection Julien Gréau. Verrerie antique, émaillerie et poterie appartenant à M. John Pierpont Morgan. nos. 201–2.