The statue is made of limestone. The foremost part of the plinth with forelegs has been broken, but fits at the break. Mane above forehead damaged. Left canine of upper jaw and both canines of lower missing. Traces of the original painting is still visible to the naked eye: whiskers, warts and eye surroundings stand bleached against the rest of the statues weathered surface, because the original pigments from the paint has preserved the surface in those areas. The statue has been examined with Visible Induced Luminesence and showed no indications of the use of Egyptian Blue in the original colouring.
2003: The statue has been examined by Professor Vinzenz Briknmann in München. Results have been published (Brinkmann, 2003). A painted reconstruction was made by Ulrike Koch-Brinkmann which can be seen at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.
Description of object
Lying on a plinth, cut in one piece with the figure, the lion stretches its lean, sinewy body with its head towards the spectator. Its expression is more cheerful than frightening like its oriental presurcors. The tail “sticks” to the plinth.
The foremost part of the plinth with forelegs has been broken, but fits at the break. Mane above forehead damaged. Left canine of upper jaw and both canines of lower missing. Toes on right fore-paw roughened in modern, new removed, restoration. Painting must have been lavish, but effects in fact negative, because the pigment has merely delayed patination and now stands bleached white against the brown patina, as on whickers, warts and eye surroundings.
The lion was examined by Vinzenz Brinkmann, and he noted yellow ochre on the fur, black (or maybe blue) paint traces on tail tuft, red on the tongue and brown in the areas around the eyes.
Choice of methods
F. Poulsen (1951), Catalogue of Ancient Sculpture in the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 5.
H. Gabelmann (1965), Studien zum frühgriechischen Löwenbild, Berlin.
F. Johansen (1994), Catalogue. Greece in the Archaic Period. Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen, cat. No. 2.
V. Brinkmann (2003), Die Polychromie der archaischen und frühklassischen Skulptur, München, fig. 235 a+b.
- IN 1296
- 6th century B.C.E.
- Bought in 1895 in Athens with IN 1297.
- H. 53 cm.; L. 100 cm.