The original composition, which probably decorated the pediment (triangular gable) of a small building, consisted of two lions felling their prey. The adjoining piece, which the forepart of the right-hand lion and the middle of the bull, was found near the Olympieion in Athens in 1862 and is now in the National Archaeological Museum, Athens. The subject is one of the most popular in Archaic art of all media. It allowed artists to infuse a symmetrical composition with violent movement. It may also have represented the conflict between civilized life and nature, a theme symbolized later by the struggles between Greeks and centaurs.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Lion felling a bull, from a marble pediment
Date:ca. 525–500 BCE
Dimensions:Overall: 25 3/16 x 7 in. (64 x 17.8 cm) Other: 28 3/8in. (72cm)
Credit Line:Rogers Fund, 1942
[Until 1925, with Theodoros A. Zoumboulakis, Athens]; [1925, purchased by Joseph Brummer from Th. Zoumboulakis]; [1925-1942, with Joseph Brummer, New York (stock P 1441)]; acquired in 1942, purchased from Joseph Brummer.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 135, 274, pl. 114b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. no. 7, pp. 5–6, pls. 10a–c, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1955. Ancient Italy : a study of the interrelations of its peoples as shown in their arts. pp. 3–4, fig. 14, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
Richter, Gisela M. A. 1970. "The Department of Greek and Roman Art: Triumphs and Tribulations." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 3: pp. 82–83, 89, figs. 19, 33.
Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 160, Cambridge, England.
Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1987. Greece and Rome. no. 17, pp. 9, 32, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 91, pp. 87, 423, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Lazzarini, Lorenzo and Dr. Clemente Marconi. 2014. "A New Analysis of Major Greek Sculptures in the Metropolitan Museum: Petrological and Stylistic." Metropolitan Museum Journal, 49: pp. 122, 130, 138–39, fig. 12, Appendix.
Hemingway, Seán. 2021. How to Read Greek Sculpture. no. 11, pp. 74–75, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.
The Museum's collection of Greek and Roman art comprises more than 30,000 works ranging in date from the Neolithic period to the time of the Roman emperor Constantine's conversion to Christianity in A.D. 312.