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Lioness of Baena

  • Lioness of Baena. National Archaeological Museum, Madrid © Santiago Relanzón. Fundación ITMA; Museo Arqueológico Nacional (N.I. 20418)

    Lioness of Baena. National Archaeological Museum, Madrid © Santiago Relanzón. Fundación ITMA; Museo Arqueológico Nacional (N.I. 20418)

     
  

Category

Sculpture

Date

525 - 501 B.C.

Cultural background

Iberian

Original title

Leona de Baena

A sculpture with oriental and Greek influences that was possibly used to protect a funerary monument.

It depicts a lioness in a threatening attitude sitting on its four paws. The two rear paws are preserved complete, but the front ones are missing some claws. Only its front is sculpted, as its rear gave on one of the sides of the funerary monument.

The presence of wild animal or mythical sculptures as symbolic protectors was one of the characteristics of the Iberian necropolis of the 6th and 5th centuries B.C. At this time, the funerary monuments highlighted the necropolis and structured them by assigning zones to each family group.

The techniques and aesthetic used suggest this lioness follows archaic Greek prototypes. These sculptures were made using soft stones such as limestone or sandstone (as is the case here), using chisels, gouges or similar instruments.
 

Details of the work

Object
Figure

Dimensions
Height = 51 cm; Length = 95 cm; Width = 26 cm.

Technique
Sculpted

Material
Limestone

  

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