A Hellenistic Terracotta Advancing Lion
The lion is revered as the king of the jungle, yet here we see a terracotta lion advancing with his head lowered in a cautious approach. The rich curls of his mane make up the bulk of his body, and a thin tail lies flat against the rear of his haunches. The eyes, nose and mouth have been simply yet perfectly formed to create an image that is at once highly stylized yet also realistic. The result is an almost empathetic view of an animal that was known to be as exotic in ancient Rome as it was ferocious.
This piece was possibly made for decoration in the hall of a powerful merchant or ruler who wished to show that even the most ferocious of animals would kowtow to his authority. The piece has been carefully restored to retain its understated beauty, and it shows off the warm earth tones of ancient terracotta.
This piece is 6.5 cm in height and 11.5 cm long and is in good condition, dating from approximately 200 BC – 100 BC.