Reclining mouflon

Mature Harappan
ca. 2600–1900 B.C.
Indus Valley
L. 28 cm
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Rogers Fund, 1978
Accession Number:
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 403
This powerful sculpture represents a mouflon, a type of wild sheep native to the highland regions of the Near East. The animal's head, now partially broken away, is held upward and is twisted to the right, creating an impression of alertness. The artist has achieved a realistic rendering of an animal at rest, its weight thrown fully onto its left haunch, and its left hind leg tucked under its body. The bottom of the statue has been worn away, but it is likely that the hidden leg was originally indicated there. The entire body is contained within a single unbroken outline. The horns, ears, tail, and muscles were modeled in relief, although time and secondary use have flattened the contours on the right side. This combination of closed outline with broadly modeled masses and a minimum of incised detail is characteristic of animal sculpture from the Harappan-period levels at the site of Mohenjo Daro in the lower reaches of the Indus River. The function of these animal sculptures is unknown.
#7068. Overview: Indus Valley
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Formerly collection of Otto H. Kahn (until d. 1934); 1942, purchased by Joseph Brummer from Mrs. Otto H. Kahn; 1949, purchased by Bernard J. Reis at the auction sale of the estate of the late Joseph Brummer, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, May 11-14, 1949, lot 133; by 1976, collection of Morris J. Pinto, New York; acquired by the Museum in 1978, purchased from Mrs. Morris J. Pinto, Paris.

“Ancient Art in American Private Collections,” The Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University, Cambridge, December 28, 1954–February 15, 1955.

“Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me,” The Jewish Museum, New York, May 3–September 6, 1964.

“From the Lands of the Bible: Art and Artifacts,” America-Israel Culture House, New York, May 22–July 3, 1968.

“The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department,” MOA Museum of Art, Atami, Japan, The Aiche Prefectural Art Gallery, Nagoya, Japan, The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan, 1983.

“In Quest of Excellence,” Center for Fine Arts, Miami, Florida, January 12, 1984–April 22, 1984.

Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc. 1949. Part Two of the Notable Art Collection belonging to the Estate of the late Joseph Brummer. Parke-Bernet Galleries, Inc., New York, May 11-14, 1949, lot 133.

Hanfmann, George M.A. 1954. Ancient Art in American Private Collections, exh. cat. Cambridge, Mass., no. 60, pl. XIX.

Farkas, Ann R. 1964. Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me. exh. cat. New York: The Jewish Museum, no. 36.

America-Israel Cultural Foundation. 1968. From the Lands of the Bible: Art and Artifacts, exh. cat. New York, no. 345, p. 69, p. 91.

Porada, Edith. 1974. In Frühe Stufen der Kunst, edited by Machteld J. Mellink and Jan Filip, Propyläen Kunstgeschichte 13. Berlin: Propyläen Verlag, no. 69, p. 163.

Pittman, Holly. 1979. "Figure of a recumbent mouflon." Notable Acquisitions (Metropolitan Museum of Art) No. 1975/1979, p. 9.

Pittman, Holly. 1983. "Recumbent Mouflon (Wild Sheep)." In The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Selections from the Collection of the Ancient Near East Department, exh. cat. Tokyo: Chunichi Shimbun, no. 35.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1983. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide, edited by Kathleen Howard. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, p. 46, fig. 3.

Harper, Prudence O. et al. 1984. "Ancient Near Eastern Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 41 (4), Spring 1984, pp. 30-31, fig. 36.

Pittman, Holly. 1984. Art of the Bronze Age: Southeastern Iran, Western Central Asia, and the Indus Valley. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, pp. 86-88, fig. 39.