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Reclining mouflon

Period:
Mature Harappan
Date:
ca. 2600–1900 B.C.
Geography:
Indus Valley
Culture:
Indus
Medium:
Marble
Dimensions:
L. 28 cm
Classification:
Stone-Sculpture
Credit Line:
Purchase, Anonymous Gift and Rogers Fund, 1978
Accession Number:
1978.58
  • Description

    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.

  • Provenance

    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.

  • References

    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. In Ancient Art in American Private Collections, exh. cat. Cambridge, Mass., no. 60, pl. XIX.

    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. 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.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
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