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Roman Bronze Sculpture of a Sheep - X.0201
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 1 st Century AD to 3 rd Century AD
Dimensions: 2.75" (7.0cm) high
Collection: Classical
Style: Roman
Medium: Bronze

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Sheep were a prized commodity during the Roman era, not just for their meat and milk, but also for their wool. Wool was not used by the ancient Romans just for making textiles, clothes, and carpets; however, they also extracted dirt and oils similar to lanolin from the wool in order to make cosmetic face creams. Sheep were raised throughout the Roman Empire, from modern England to Germany and Belgium. This bronze sculpture is a masterpiece of naturalism. The animal is instantly recognizable and treated with a level of attention generally reserved for imperial portraits. She stands on a small rectangular base and has her head turned towards her right, as if some unseen shepherd is beckoning her. Her facial features have been clearly indicated with delicately incised lines, including her eyes, mouth, and nostrils. The sculptor has also successfully rendered the thick texture of the wooly coat, with individual tufts of wool indicated by incised lines. This sculpture captures both the physique and the personality of this animal that played an essential role in the lives of the Ancient Romans. - (X.0201)

 

 

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