Photo © President and Fellows of Harvard College
Identification and Creation
Object Number
2001.255
Title
God Standing on a Quadruped
Classification
Sculpture
Work Type
sculpture, statuette
Date
late 13th-early 12th century BCE
Places
Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Levant
Period
Iron Age
Culture
Syro-Hittite
Persistent Link
https://hvrd.art/o/174447
Physical Descriptions
Medium
Bronze
Technique
Cast, lost-wax process
Dimensions
15.2 x 5.5 x 5 cm (6 x 2 3/16 x 1 15/16 in.)
Technical Details

Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 92.36; Sn, 6.44; Pb, 0.6; Zn, 0.03; Fe, 0.03; Ni, 0.07; Ag, 0.03; Sb, 0.12; As, 0.33; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, less than 0.01; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
J. Riederer

Technical Observations: The patina is a mottled dark brown and green, with a few lighter brown and green accretions on the animal and legs of the figure. A modern threaded hole at the bottom of the animal’s feet served to mount the bronze, but it is not clear how the group would have been originally mounted to a base or other object.

Judging from the soft modeling and bending of the limbs of the male and the animal figures, both were modeled in wax. The god was joined in the wax to the animal’s back in a relatively crude fashion, and they were cast together in one piece. The ears and hands of the deity were pierced before casting, but whatever earrings or attributes were attached to the figure are now missing. The edge of the hat on the back of the figure’s head is still relatively crisp, but almost all decorative features on the surface have been erased as a result of electrolytic and mechanical cleaning, which has left much of the surface pitted and smoothed. The uneven horizontal marks along the neck of the figure are the result of post-excavation filing or cleaning, and the crisp straight indentation of the mouth may also have been slightly enhanced with a straight flat punch.


Francesca G. Bewer (submitted 2012)

Provenance
Ex Collection Mrs. Elsa Schmid, New York, inherited by son, Peter G. Neumann, Palo Alto; gift to the Harvard University Art Museums, 2001.
Acquisition and Rights
Credit Line
Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Gift of Peter G. Neumann
Accession Year
2001
Object Number
2001.255
Division
Asian and Mediterranean Art
Contact
am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu
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Descriptions
Description
This very stylized figure, probably representing a deity, stands on the back of a quadruped. The deity’s head is slightly upraised and turned to his left. He wears a conical hat. The facial features are large and simple—there are raised ovals indicating eyes, a large triangular nose, and a wide horizontal cut for the mouth. The head is oblong, and the chin is wide. The ears, semi-circular and protruding from the sides of the head, have circular holes through them for the insertion of something, probably objects representing earrings (perhaps in another material). The body is very simplified and not naturalistic. The neck is very long, thick, and cylindrical; the torso is short, with bendy arms emerging from the sides. The left arm is held out and curved at chest height, with a hole through the top and bottom, possibly to hold a staff or attach a shield; the right arm is bent at the elbow and held up, with a transverse hole through the hand, possibly to hold a spear or club. The figure wears a wide belt around his midsection and possibly a kilt down to the knees. The figure stands on top of an animal with his right leg forward and left leg back. The animal is also very simply rendered, with triangle ears bent back, raised ovals for eyes, and an open mouth. Its forelimbs are joined together and curve backward; the hindlimbs are also joined together, moving forward, and the legs are joined where the animal’s paws or hooves would be. The animal and the deity look in different directions.
Subjects and Contexts

Ancient Bronzes

This record was created from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator; it may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. For more information please contact the Division of Asian and Mediterranean Art at am_asianmediterranean@harvard.edu