Graeco-Roman Bronze Ram - FZ.341 - For Sale

Graeco-Roman Bronze Ram - FZ.341
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This statuette depicts a young ram standing at ease with its head, inclined and slightly turned to the left. It appears to be casting an inquisitive gaze into the distance. The ram’s head is well- modeled with attention paid to the details of the eyes and muzzle as well as to the tuft of hair on its forehead. Its ears are framed by curling horns, their relatively small size indicative of the fairly young age of our ram.The artist has paid particular attention to the ornamentation of its fleece which is both full and thick. Such attention to detail also characterizes the depiction of its fat tail. This naturalistic detail permits one to identify our ram as a member of the wool-bearing species of sheep (Ovis aries platyura), the characteristics of which also include horns which spring back on the head but curve downward and forward. Such animals were prized in antiquity for their wool, as is evident from the thick coat of our example before shearing. The style of our bronze ram suggests a dating into the Roman Imperial Period of the second century A.D. Such figures were extremely popular in the Eastern Mediterranean provinces of the empire where they were used as offerings, symbolically representing animals sacrificed at festivals. There is, however, a growing body of evidence to suggest that such offerings may also symbolically represent deities associated with specific animals and, perhaps, even the deities themselves. In this regard, one recalls the incident in which the citizens of Athens punished a man because he had flayed a ram while it was still alive. Such action was not unparalleled because numerous ancient Greek philosophers including Pythagoras were pioneers of animal rights. Description and interpretation kindly provided by Prof. Robert. S. Bianchi. - (FZ.341)

Ancient Roman
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Barakat Gallery
405 North Rodeo Drive
Beverly Hills
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Phone : 310.859.8408

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