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Roman Bronze Sculpture of a Female Panther - X.0215
Origin: Mediterranean
Circa: 1 st Century AD to 3 rd Century AD
Collection: Classical
Style: Roman
Medium: Bronze

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This magnificent bronze sculpture of a panther is a masterpiece of Roman naturalism. Her ferocious head has been rendered in a fashion characteristic of Roman felines. Her brows are clenched together as she snarls, her tongue dangling from her mouth and fangs exposed. Judging from this intimidating posture, we can assume she is attempting to defend herself or her offspring who would presumably rest nearby. Her body has been rendered with meticulous attention to detail such as her noticeable ribcage and swollen teats, a sign that she has been recently feeding her young. In a charming gesture, her tail gently arches downwards and wraps around one of her hind legs. Another interesting feature is that one of her front paws rests atop a small sphere, recalling the stances of Chinese “Foo Dogs.” Might this sphere symbolize the world and this panther the Roman Empire, protective and nurturing? - (X.0215)

 

 

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