Leopard

Italic, Etruscan
Archaic Period
about 560 B.C.


Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 388; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 116 (additional published references).

Dimensions

Height x length: 68 x 78 cm (26 3/4 x 30 11/16 in.)

Accession Number

63.2756

Medium or Technique

Nenfro

On View

Conservation on View: Etruscan Sarcophagi (Gallery 117)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

This animal is the reversed companion to object no. 61.130, and he was probably placed to the left in the architectural setting of the tomb, creating an addorsed pair of beasts. His head is larger, his paws are heavier,and his body appears to be shorter than that of his counterpart. He was broken through the middle in falling from his ancient setting, but joins suggest his shortening is ancient, perhaps necessitated by the width of the area where the two leopards on their small plinths were placed.
In the details (especially the edges) of the plinth, condition of legs and paws, and in the crisp carving of ears and face, this leopard is somewhat better preserved than his counterpart. The first leopard is a greater visual, aesthetic experience. The two beasts together, in their addorsed positions, form a strong statement of Archaic symmetry in Etruscan architectural sculpture.
The leopard has light brown, almost cream-gray coloring, with incrustation remaining on top of the usual dents and damage.

Provenance

By 1961: with Hesperia Art, 2219 St. James Place, Philadelphia 3, Pa. (presumably from Vulci); December 1963: purchased by Horace L. Mayer from Hesperia Art; loaned by Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 23, 1963; year-end gift of Horace L. Mayer to MFA, December 26, 1963

Credit Line

Gift of Horace L. Mayer