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Lion's Head

First half of the 5th century BC

Etruria

Bronze; h 26 cm

Etruscan bronzes in the Hermitage reveal the great skill of ancient bronzesmiths. Engraved rosettes and stars above the beast's ears and eyes in this piece may indicate a link with the cult of the dead and the entire sculpture might thus have decorated the entrance to a necropolis. Poised ready to spring, the lion is full of inner tension. This sculpture, a remarkable example of monumental Etruscan bronzes, combines both realistic traditions and stylised elements.

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