Bronze bird


On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151

With its crest and full tail, this bird, perhaps a peacock, is particularly magnificent. It could have stood on its base or been hung through the loop on the back. The fullness of its body is enhanced by the round base decorated in openwork (pierced patterns). This example was probably made in the Argolid.

In Geometric art, animals far outnumbered human figures, with horses, birds, sheep, bulls, and other quadrupeds being particularly common. Thousands of cast bronze figurines were found in most sanctuaries of ancient Greece, where they had been deposited as personal offerings to the gods. Birds like this one, standing on a base, have primarily been found in sanctuaries in northern Greece.

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