Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Standing bull

Date:
ca. mid-1st millennium B.C.
Geography:
Southwestern Arabia
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 8 3/4 in. (22.2 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1947
Accession Number:
47.100.85
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 406
By the middle of the first millennium B.C., kingdoms had emerged in southern Arabia based on a monopoly of two of the most prized materials of ancient times, frankincense and myrrh, which are native to the region. Every temple and wealthy home in the Mediterranean and Near East burnt these incense resins on altars. Saba was initially the most important kingdom but others, such as Qataban and Ma'in, grew to rival it in power.

Bronze castings of large sculptures, as well as smaller objects, were made through most of the first millennium B.C. and the early centuries A.D. in southwestern Arabia. Among the types of animal images, bulls—a symbol of strength and potency—are the most common and can be found on funerary stelae, seals, and sculptures of the period.
1920s, probably collection of Kaiky Muncherjee, Aden; 1943, bought by Joseph Brummer from Gazdar Bros, Bombay; acquired by the Museum in 1947, purchased from the estate of Joseph Brummer, New York.

“Art of the Ancient Near East,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, March 4–September 5, 1949.

“Small Sculptures in Bronze,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, November 6, 1950–January 31, 1951.

“Farm on Fifth Avenue,” The Junior Museum of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, March 1, 1951–April 15, 1952.

“Treasures from the Metropolitan: Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Indianapolis Museum of Art,” The Indianapolis Museum of Art, Indianapolis, Indiana, October 25, 1970–January 3, 1971.

“Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art,” Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo, Japan, The Kyoto Municipal Museum, Kyoto, Japan, 1972.

“The Grand Gallery,” The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, October 19, 1974–January 5, 1975.

“5000 Years of Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Inaugural Exhibition of the New Wichita Art Museum,” The Wichita Art Museum, Wichita, Kansas, October 23, 1977–January 15, 1978.

Wilkinson, Charles K. 1949. "The Art of the Ancient Near East." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 7 (7), p. 191.

Louchheim, Aline B. 1949. “Near-Eastern Art Placed on Display: Metropolitan Shows Works that Date to 5,000 Years Ago.” The New York Times, p. 19.

Naramore, Elisabeth. 1951. Farm of Fifth Avenue: A Collection of Figures from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Depicting Farm Folk, Barnyard Animals, and Wild Creatures of Field and Stream. exh. cat. New York: Pantheon, pp. 17, 31.

Glubok, Shirley. 1963. The Art of Lands in the Bible. New York: Atheneum, p. 23.

Weinhardt, Carl J. 1970. Treasures from the Metropolitan: Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. exh. cat. Indianapolis: Indianapolis Museum of Art, pl. 38, no. 28.

Tokyo National Museum. 1972. Treasured Masterpieces of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. exh. cat. Tokyo, no. 10.

Wooden, Howard, ed. 1977. 5000 Years of Art from the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Catalogue of the Inaugural Exhibition of the New Wichita Art Museum. exh. cat. Wichita, Kansas: Wichita Art Museum, p. 18, no. 10.

Porter, Barbara A. 1986. Art of the Ancient Near East: Permanent Galleries of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 15.

Muscarella, Oscar W. 1988. Bronze and Iron: Ancient Near Eastern Artifacts in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 356, no. 478.
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