A finely modelled Ancient Roman cast bronze all-round statuette in the form of a recumbent lion, portrayed in a naturalistic manner with much attention given towards the rendering of facial and anatomical features. The lion’s main is rendered through a series of incised lines, while the tail is arranged to form an attachment loop.
Date: Circa 1st-3rd century AD Condition: Extremely fine. The piece has been mounted on a custom-made stand ideal for display.
Bronze statuettes were popular across the Roman Empire, usually modelled in the shape of gods, goddesses and animals. Such statuettes could have been part of private households or placed in temples as votive offerings. The lion had an important role in Roman mythology, since it was associated with the god Hercules. Notoriously, lions were integral to the form of capital punishment known as ‘damnatio ad bestias’, whereby condemned criminals were pitted against the beasts. Lions were also sought out by Roman army units as a pastime when not at war – the process of capturing the beasts is recorded in several Roman mosaics.
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