Friday, July 26, 2013

The Art World is Obsessed With Felines

By Charles Kessler

Cat with Kittens (detail), reportedly from Saqqara, Egypt. Late Period to Ptolemaic Period, Dynasty 26 or later, circa 664–30 B.C.E. Bronze, solid-cast and wood, 2⅜ x 3-7/16 x 1-15/16 inches (Brooklyn Museum, Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund, 37.406E).
Felines seem to have taken over the art world lately. Here's an article about the trend, and for even more evidence, there's the Brooklyn Museum's exhibition of Ancient Egyptian cats. (BTW, Sunday is the last day you can see the best show in the city – the Brooklyn Museum's exhibition of John Singer Sargent's watercolors.)

Well, I want to be trendy too, so I've decided to devote this post to photos of lions that you can find scattered about the Metropolitan Museum.
Figure of a lion, Syria, Iron Age, early to mid-1st millennium, copper alloy, 7 ⅜ x 10 ½ inches (2002.457a,b). 
Striding Lion, Neo-Babylonian, Mesopotamia, ca. 604 - 562 B. C., ceramic, glaze, 38 ¼ x 89 ½ inches.
Head of a roaring lion, Mesopotamia, Neo-Assyrian, ca. 9th - 8th century B. C., ivory, 3 ¾ x 3 x 2 ¾ inches (62.269.1).
Marble Statue of a lion, Greek Classical, ca. 400 - 390 B. C., marble, 31 ¼ x 63 ½ inches (09.221.3).
Statuette of a double-headed lion, Etruscan, Archaic, ca. 550-500 B. C., bronze, 2 ¼ inches high (1989.281.76).
Terracotta vase in the form of a lion. Roman, mid-Imperial, 2nd century A. D.,  11.4 cm high (74.51.1666).
Cybele on a cart drawn by lions, Roman, 2nd half of 2nd century A. D., bronze, 12 x 54 ¾ inches (97.22.24).
Guardian Lion, Cambodia or Thailand, 11-early 12th century, stone, 42 ⅞ inches high (1979.406).
Incense Burner of Amir Saif al-Dunya wa’l-Din ibn Muhammad al-Mawardi, Iran, 1181-82, bronze, 33 ½ x 32 ½ x 9 inches (51.56). 
And NOT at the Met, but just for the fun of it, is this unattributed photo that's been making the social media rounds lately:
I guess it's been that kind of summer!

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