Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bronze centaur

late 5th century B.C.
H. 1 3/4 in. (4.4 cm)
Credit Line:
Bequest of Walter C. Baker, 1971
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 156
During the fifth century B.C., centaurs appeared in many monumental representations, especially in Athens. The decoration of the Theseion included large wall paintings depicting not only Greeks fighting Amazons but also centaurs fighting Lapiths. The sculptures of the Parthenon featured centaurs as well. The boulder included in this work suggests that the source of inspiration was the myth of Kaineus, a Lapith invulnerable to man-made weapons, who could only be overcome by being beaten into the ground with trees and stones.
von Bothmer, Dietrich and René d'Harnoncourt. 1950. Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: An Exhibition from the Collection of Walter Cummings Baker, Esq. no. 32, p. 8, New York: Walter Cummings Baker.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1961. Ancient Art from New York Private Collections: Catalogue of an Exhibition Held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, December, 17, 1959-February 28, 1960. no. 138, p. 36, pl. 44, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Mertens, Joan R. 1985. "Greek Bronzes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 43(2): no. 26, pp. 42, 52.

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