Thessaly, Greek / Bull / late 8th Century BCThessaly, Greek
late 8th Century BC

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Creator Nationality: Thessaly, Greek
Creator Name-CRT: Thessaly, Greek
Title: Bull
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: -73
Creation End Date: -70
Creation Date: late 8th Century BC
Object Type: Sculpture
Materials and Techniques: bronze
Dimensions: Overall: 3 5/16 x 2 23/32 x 1 25/32 in. (8.4 x 6.9 x 4.5 cm.)
AMICA Contributor: Dallas Museum of Art
Owner Location: Dallas, Texas, USA
ID Number: 1974.85.FA
Credit Line: Dallas Museum of Art, Foundation for the Arts Collection, gift of Mr. and Mrs. James H. Clark
Context: The bull is intact and solid cast by the lost-wax method. The body is slightly swayed, rising gently to the rump. The tail is unusually long, more like those on Geometric period bronze horses, and descends to the ground. The legs are stiff and only slightly splayed, with spurs on the forelegs to indicate joints. The feet are flattened to provide stability, since the figure lacks a base. The neck is thick and the eyes and ears are not indicated. The great horns, the primary element that distinguishes this figure from those of horses, curve out and upward from the crown of the head. A horizontal slash across the end of the cylindrical muzzle indicates the mouth.Hundreds of bronze bull figurines have been excavated at the sanctuary of Zeus and Hera at Olympia. The bronze images were produced in such quantities, undoubtedly in the immediate area, primarily during the eighth and early seventh centuries B.C. for pilgrims to the shrine to use as votive offerings to the two divinities. Live bulls were sacrificed to Zeus at Olympia, but this was a costly exercise. The small bronze, and even terracotta, substitutes catered to the needs of the average dedicator.Differences in style separate this bull from the general type found at Olympia, indicating that it comes from another part of Greece, perhaps Thessaly."Gods, Men, and Heroes," page 45
AMICA ID: DMA_.1974.85.FA
AMICA Library Year: 2003
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