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Etruscan Bronze Panther
New York | Animals
 
Date:  5th Century AD
Culture:  Etruscan
Category:  AnimalsSculpture
Medium:  Bronze
Dimension: L: 7.1cm
Price: $12,500.00
Provenance: New York Art Market, June 1994
Serial No: 485

This beautiful panther is solid cast in bronze. The panther is in a couchant pose: his head upright, his forelegs extended before him, his hind legs tucked beneath is body. The animal’s face is stylized, with large eyes, and an open mouth bearing his sharp teeth. The anatomical details of the panther’s body have been carefully modeled: the ruff and feathering of his coat is engraved on his neck and forelegs, his tail is curled up around his hindquarters, and his spotted markings are slightly recessed.

The panther is a common figure in Greek and Etruscan art from this period. In Greek art, the panther is often associated with Dionysos, god of wine and revelry, and his followers, both maenads and satyrs. Etruscan artisans borrowed the panther from their Greek neighbors, and the animal became a favorite in Etruria, appearing in figurines such as this one, on vases and in funerary monuments.
On the underside of the animal, there is a fragmentary tenon, which suggests that this figure was made to be attached as an ornament to a piece of furniture.

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