Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • Sallet in the Shape of a Lion's Head, 1470–80
    Italian
    Steel, copper-gilt, glass, polychromy

    H. 11 3/4 in. (30 cm), Wt. 8 lb. 4 oz. (3.7 kg)
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1923 (23.141)

    This helmet is the earliest surviving example of Renaissance armor all'antica (in the antique style). The helmet represents the head of the Nemean Lion, whose pelt was worn as a headdress and cloak by the mythological hero Hercules. Hercules was frequently portrayed in Renaissance art as a symbol of indomitable strength, courage, and perseverance. The gilt-copper lion's head is mounted over a plain steel sallet made specifically for this purpose. The helmet retains its original padded canvas lining.

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    On view: Gallery 373
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    Sallet in the Shape of a Lion's Head, 1470–80
    Italian
    Steel, copper-gilt, glass, polychromy

    H. 11 3/4 in. (30 cm), Wt. 8 lb. 4 oz. (3.7 kg)
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1923 (23.141)


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