Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Lion felling a bull, from a marble pediment

ca. 525–500 B.C.
Greek, Attic
Marble, Parian
Overall: 25 3/16 x 7 in. (64 x 17.8 cm)
Other: 28 3/8in. (72cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1942
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 155
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.
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. 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.

Related Objects

Marble statue of a lion

Artist: Date: ca. 400–390 B.C.
Accession Number: 09.221.3
Date: ca. 400–390 B.C. Medium: Marble, Parian 2 Accession: 09.221.3 On view in:Gallery 156

Marble grave stele of a little girl

Artist: Date: ca. 450–440 B.C.
Accession Number: 27.45
Date: ca. 450–440 B.C. Medium: Marble, Parian Accession: 27.45 On view in:Gallery 156

Marble stele (grave marker) of a woman

Artist: Date: mid-4th century B.C.
Accession Number: 48.11.4
Date: mid-4th century B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 48.11.4 On view in:Gallery 158

Marble head of a goddess

Artist: Date: 4th century B.C.
Accession Number: 10.142.1
Date: 4th century B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 10.142.1 On view in:Gallery 153

Marble akroterion

Artist: Date: ca. 350–325 B.C.
Accession Number: 20.198
Date: ca. 350–325 B.C. Medium: Marble Accession: 20.198 On view in:Gallery 153