• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 2007

    Antiquities

    4 June 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 221

    A GREEK BRONZE BULL PROTOME

    HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 2ND-1ST CENTURY B.C.

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GREEK BRONZE BULL PROTOME
    HELLENISTIC PERIOD, CIRCA 2ND-1ST CENTURY B.C.
    Possibly depicting the Seventh Labor of Herakles, the forepart of the powerful bull preserved, with forelegs raised, the details of the hooves, musculature and ridged dewlap naturalistically modelled, the mouth open exposing the tongue, the thick snout well-modelled, with short, curling locks on the dewlap, two arms reaching across his forehead below the horns, the left hand grabbing the right wrist, a mortise preserved at the top of the bull's head, likely for the separately-made body of Herakles
    6¾ in. (17.15 cm.) high


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    In Herakles' Seventh Labor, the hero sails to Crete to capture the Cretan bull. After subduing it with his bare hands, he brings it back to King Eurystheus, king of Tiryns in the Argolid, who releases it. Subsequently the bull terrorizes the area around Marathon.

    Provenance

    European Private Collection, 1980.