Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 3rd century CE. A handsome statue of a humped bull standing on a shallow plinth, cast from bronze, and originally covered in a thin sheen of silver, some of which remains today. The body of the bull is proud, muscular, with a large hump, haunches, and dewlap; the horns project straight and symmetrical from the top of the head. Although the shape of the body is similar to those of zebu bulls, which were bred in India and may have been familiar to a well-traveled or educated Roman, it may also reflect the desire of the sculptor to portray the most masculine, virile bull possible. Some archaeological evidence also suggests that Romans imported the zebu bull - only the bulls - to be sacrificial animals, again because of their masculine appearance. This is certainly a portrait of a powerful animal! Size: 1.95" W x 2" H (5 cm x 5.1 cm)
Provenance: private East Coast, USA collection
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