Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Bronze man and centaur

Period:
Geometric
Date:
mid-8th century B.C.
Culture:
Greek
Medium:
Bronze
Dimensions:
H. 4 3/8 in. (11.10 cm)
Classification:
Bronzes
Credit Line:
Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917
Accession Number:
17.190.2072
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 151
Half man, half horse, the centaurs were thought to inhabit remote wooded areas. In much of Greek art, they appear in combat with humans and, by implication, are the antithesis of civilized men. The classic rendering of this subject can be seen in the metopes of the Parthenon in Athens. It is, however, already fully presented in this bronze statuette. The outcome of the conflict is indicated by the end of the spear preserved in the centaur's left flank and by the greater height of the man.
Said to be from Olympia (Mertens 1985, p. 19).

From 1906, collection of J. Pierpont Morgan, purchased on the art market, Paris; acquired December 17, 1917, gift of J. Pierpont Morgan.
Sambon, Arthur. 1906. "Les Verres Antiques." Le Musée, 3. p. 429, fig. 3, Paris.

Baur, Paul Victor Christopher. 1912. Centaurs in Ancient Art: The Archaic Period. p. 79, fig. 15, Berlin: K. Curtius.

Smith, Cecil H. Sir and Librairie Centrale des Beaux-arts. 1913[Librairie centrale des beaux-arts]. Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan: Bronzes, antique Greek and Roman, including some antique objects in gold and silver. no. 80, pp. 32-3, Paris.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1917. Handbook of the Classical Collection. p. 44, fig. 23, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1927. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 51-52, fig. 29, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1930. Handbook of the Classical Collection. pp. 51-52, fig. 29, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1936[1934]. A Guide to the Collections, Part 1: Ancient and Oriental Art, 2nd edn. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Albright Art Gallery. 1937. Master Bronzes, Selected from Museums and Collections in America. no. 62, Buffalo: Burrow.

Alexander, Christine. 1939. Early Greek Art: A Picture Book. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Alexander, Christine. 1945. "Early Statuettes from Greece." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 3(10): p. 242.

Alexander, Christine. 1950. "A Marble Lekythos and the Elgin Athena." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 9.2: p. 242.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. pp. 51, 345, fig. 13, New Haven: Yale University Press.

Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. pp. 22, 173, pl. 12b, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Bandinelli, Ranuccio Bianchi. 1958. Enciclopedia dell'Arte Antica, Classica e Orientale, Vol. 2. p. 468, fig. 650, Rome: Instituto della Enciclopedia Italiana.

Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. p. 20, pl. 3d, Cambridge, England.

von Bothmer, Dietrich. 1978. Antichnoe iskusstvo iz muzeia Metropoliten, Soedinennye Shtaty Ameriki: Katalog vystavki. no. 13, pl. 2, Moscow: Sovetskii Khudozhnik.

Hampe, Roland and Erika Simon. 1980. Un Millénaire d'Art Grec 1600-600. p. 234, pls. 380, 381, Fribourg, Suisse: Office du Livre.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1981–1999. Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vols. 1-8. Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Heilmeyer, Wolf-Dieter. 1982. Frühgriechische Kunst : Kunst und Siedlung im geometrischen Griechenland. pp. 30, 47, figs. 37-38, Berlin: Gebr. Mann.

Mertens, Joan R. 1985. "Greek Bronzes in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 43(2): no. 8, pp. 7, 18-9.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1992. Kentauroi-Oiax, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 6. Kentauroi et Kentaurides, no. 132, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

1994. Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide: Works of Art Selected by Philippe De Montebello. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Kossatz-Deissmann, Anneliese, Brigitte Servais-Soyez, Fulvio Canciani, Giovannangelo Camporeale, Hans Peter Isler, Ingrid Krauskopf, Odette Touchefeu-Meynier, Marcel Le Glay, and Dr. Jean-Charles Balty. 1997. Thespiades-Zodiacus, Lexicon Iconographicum Mythologiae Classicae, Vol. 8. Typhon, no. 27; Zeus, no. 14, Zürich: Artemis Verlag Zurich und Munchen.

Mertens, Joan R., Dr. 2000. "Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1999-2000." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 58(2): p. 10.

Strouse, Jean and Joan R. Mertens. 2000. "J. Pierpont Morgan: Financier and Collector." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin, 57(3): pp. 42-3, fig. 48.

Shear, Ione Mylonas. 2002. "Mycenaean Centaurs at Ugarit." The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 122: pp. 149-50, pl. 4, C.

Lempesē, Angelikē. 2002. To hiero tou Hermē kai tēs Aphroditēs stē Symē Viannou. III Ta Chalkina Anthropomorpha Eidolia, Vol. 3. pp. 227, 253, Athens: Hē en Athēnais Archaiologikē Hetaireia.

Padgett, J. Michael. 2003. The Centaur's Smile: The Human Animal in Early Greek Art no. 13, pp. 133-36, Princeton: Princeton University Art Museum.

Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome no. 33, pp. 50, 415, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Neils, Jenifer. 2009. "Beloved of the Gods: Imag(in)ing Heroes in Greek Art." Heroes: Mortals and Myths in Ancient Greece, Sabine Albersmeier, ed. p. 109, fig. 63, Baltimore: Walters Art Museum.

Metropolitan Museum of Art. 2012. The Metropolitan Museum of Art Guide. p. 62, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Paris, Rita, Elisabetta Setari, and Nunzio Giustozzi. 2013. Mostri: Creature Fantastiche della Paura e del Mito. no. 2, p. 189, Milan: Electa.

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