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


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.