- Identification and Creation
- Object Number
- Striding Male Holding a Vessel
- Other Titles
- Alternate Title: Male Figure
- Work Type
- statuette, sculpture
- 2nd Millennium BCE
- Creation Place: Ancient & Byzantine World, Asia, Syria
- Bronze Age
- Persistent Link
- Physical Descriptions
- Cast, lost-wax process
- 13.8 x 2.6 x 3 cm (5 7/16 x 1 x 1 3/16 in.)
- Technical Details
Chemical Composition: ICP-MS/AAA data from sample, Bronze:
Cu, 95.25; Sn, 3.58; Pb, 0.15; Zn, 0.008; Fe, 0.51; Ni, 0.06; Ag, 0.03; Sb, less than 0.05; As, 0.41; Bi, less than 0.025; Co, 0.012; Au, less than 0.01; Cd, less than 0.001
Technical Observations: The patina is dark green and brown with spots of red. Brown burial accretions are also present. The surface is well preserved. The right hand appears to be lost, and the surface at the loss is old and worn and probably pre-dates burial.
The soft and imprecise shapes indicate the solid-cast figure was made from a model formed directly in the wax. Cast grooves up to 2 mm deep are located at the back of the head and legs, at the sides of the arms, and at the right side of the body. These do not appear decorative in and of themselves but could have been used to secure a cladding of a secondary metal. The deep and crudely textured eye sockets might also have contained secondary decorative elements. No remains of added material are visible under magnification.
Henry Lie (submitted 2012)
- Grenville L. Winthrop, New York, NY, (by 1943), bequest; to Fogg Art Museum, 1943.
- Acquisition and Rights
- Credit Line
- Harvard Art Museums/Arthur M. Sackler Museum, Bequest of Grenville L. Winthrop
- Accession Year
- Object Number
- Asian and Mediterranean Art
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Published Catalogue Text: Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes at the Harvard Art Museums
The striding figure with a tall, conical headdress and double torc around the neck may represent a deity. The body is modeled in the round with some attention given to musculature, particularly in the lower legs. He wears a knee-length kilt that extends slightly longer in the back than the front; the vertical fringed edge of the kilt is indicated by simple hatched marks along the proper left thigh. With the left foot advancing forward, the figurine stands securely on an irregularly shaped trapezoidal plate. A large looped peg extends below the base (1). Long grooves from the top of the cap, between the shoulder blades, and along the upper arms and right side indicate that metal leaf originally covered the figure. The large head sits on a long neck and tilts slightly to the proper right. An angular nose, excised eye sockets, and semicircular ears distinguish the face. Both arms extend out in front of the body and bend slightly at the elbow. The left hand holds a goblet-shaped vessel, while the right arm, missing its hand, is raised marginally higher. It was perhaps held in a gesture of benediction that is often seen in bronzes of this period, where the right hand is held open with palm outward. This gesture is more common in seated figures, but also can be found in standing and striding figures (2).
A stylistic comparison may be made with a seated bronze figure, identified by O. Negbi as a female, which holds a bowl in her right hand (3). Classified as part of a Syro-Lebanese group dating to the fourteenth and thirteenth centuries BCE, this piece displays a similar facial profile in which the juncture between the conical headdress and the forehead is marked by a carefully incised line (4). The presence of torcs may suggest a date earlier in the second millennium when torcs appear archaeologically as well as in representations (5).
1. G. M. A. Hanfmann and P. Hansen, “Hittite Bronzes and Other Near Eastern Figurines in the Fogg Art Museum of Harvard University,” Türk Arkeoloji Dergisi 6.2 (1956): 43-58, esp. 44, fig. 13.a.
2. For seated examples, see O. Negbi, Canaanite Gods in Metal: An Archaeological Study of Ancient Syro-Palestinian Figurines (Tel Aviv, 1976) nos. 1438, 1441, 1443, 1446, 1451, 1470, 1473, 1478, and 1480, figs. 54-56 and 63-65, pls. 32-34.
3. Negbi 1976 (supra 2) 92-93, no. 1652, fig. 104, pl. 51 (unknown provenience, said to come from Lebanon).
4. Of the four pieces assigned to this group, only two have known proveniences: Byblos in Lebanon and Mishrifé in the Orontes River Valley of Syria; see ibid., 93-94.
5. Hanfmann and Hansen 1956 (supra 1) 46. For Middle Bronze Age burials from Ras Shamra (ancient Ugarit) that include torcs, see C. F.-A. Schaeffer, “Porteurs de torques,” in Ugaritica 2, Mission de Ras Shamra 5; Institut Francais d’Archéologie de Beyrouth Bibliothèque Archéologique et Historique 47 (Paris, 1949) 49-120.
- Publication History
George M. A. Hanfmann and Donald P. Hansen, "Hittite Bronzes and Other Near Eastern Figurines in the Fogg Art Museum", Türk Arkeoloji Dergisi (1956), Vol. 6, No. 2, 41-58, pp. 44-46, no. 1, figs. 1, 2, and 12a.
Dorothy W. Gillerman, ed., Grenville L. Winthrop: Retrospective for a Collector, exh. cat., Fogg Art Museum (Cambridge, 1969), p. 256 (checklist).
Séan Hemingway, "The Age of Bronze in Greece, Cyprus, and the Near East", Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, ed. Susanne Ebbinghaus, Harvard Art Museums (Cambridge, MA, 2014), 20-37, pp. 32-33, fig. 1.7.
Susanne Ebbinghaus, ed., Ancient Bronzes through a Modern Lens: Introductory Essays on the Study of Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Bronzes, Harvard Art Museum/Yale University Press (Cambridge, MA, 2014), pp. 32-33, fig. 1.7
- Subjects and Contexts
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