This lion was meant to guard a cemetery. Ready to pounce, he turns his head, roaring at impure intruders. The artist who sculpted it never saw a real lion, and so he combined the features of more familiar animals: the hips of a cow, the vertebrae of a goat, and the ribs of a horse. The eyes are strangely human and the pose recalls that of a dog. The result, however, is a fearsome, powerful image.

The lion was discovered with some pieces missing, but through careful art-historical research it was possible to restore them in plaster.


  • Title: Greek Lion
  • Creator: unknown
  • Date Created: ca. 325 B.C.E.
  • Physical Dimensions: w2045.21 x h1130.81 x d579.12 ft
  • Type: Sculpture
  • Rights: Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Purchase: William Rockhill Nelson Trust
  • Medium: Pentelic marble
  • Culture: Greek

Additional Items

Lion (Supplemental)

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