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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Miscellaneous : Etruscan Bronze Vessel Handle Depicting a Griffin
Etruscan Bronze Vessel Handle Depicting a Griffin - FZ.151
Origin: Geresa, Jordan
Circa: 600 BC to 400 BC

Catalogue: V1
Collection: Classical
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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The mythological griffin, part lion, part eagle, originated in the ancient Near East as a symbol of royal power. Traders from Persia and Babylon brought this fantastic motif westward, where it was quickly adapted by Etruscan artists. This fierce, graceful example once guarded a bronze vessel; the handle terminates in the head of a nymph or a maenad, which suggests an association with the wine god Dionysus. It is remarkable that something practical, functional even, should take the powerful form of art. We cannot help but wonder if those who first grasped this majestic handle centuries ago were as captivated by its beauty as we are today. Even in a world that no longer believes in the myth of the griffin, the dramatic impact of this sculpture is deeply felt. - (FZ.151)


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