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Name Metalwork, bronze

Associated Records

Image of 2003.4.45 -

2003.4.45 -

This pouring vessel has a long neck and a thin handle with a separate spout attached to the top of the handle. The vessel is green from oxidation.

Image of 2006.2.14 -

2006.2.14 -

This bracelet, from the area known today as Mali, is known there as manilas, from the Portuguese word for bracelet, "manilha". Manillas (the anglicized form of the word) were introduced by the Portuguese as a new form of currency when European trading began in West Africa around 1450; bronze and copper-alloy metals were imported by Europeans and used for the exchange of goods. These metals also provided raw materials for local industries and manillas therefore also were used to promote African economies. Manillas eventually became decorative and were used as jewelry. Along with other jewelry, they indicated status and wealth in life and in death, for both women and men. The demand for manilla

Image of 57.50 -

57.50 -

Set on a trumpet-shaped, octagonal foot, this lamp has an elongated body and flaring spout. The oval loop handle in the rear of the lamp is surmounted by a small bird. The keyhole-shaped opening in the top of the body, used for filling the lamp with oil, originally would have had a hinged lid, possibly with a second small bird on top (as known from other surviving examples of such lamps); part of the hinge is visible on the rim. Seljuq period, 13th century AD

Image of 61.10 - Barye, Antoine-Louis

61.10 - Barye, Antoine-Louis

Antoine-Louis Barye (1796-1875) was an innovator who popularized sculptures of animals in many phases of their lives. He set in motion a school of sculptors known as the "animaliers." His knowledge of animals and the way he proportioned their bodily structures give his works great vitality and force. Authentic "Barye Bronzes" are superb renderings, showing the unobstructed powers of animals, their emotions and a breadth-of-life quality. This bronze sculpture is characteristic of Barye's work, and its greenish casting that makes a dull sound when tapped is due to the special alloy of copper and lead. There are no die-stamp numbers on the base, so it is impossible to know the number of this

Image of 63.18 -

63.18 -

This mirror is an example of a zodiac pattern used on the backs of Chinese hand mirrors. Zodiac symbols continued to be a popular design well into the Tang dynasty. The zodiac pattern on this mirror is a relatively simple zodiac diagram, showing twelve zodiac symbols around the inside rim of the outer circle alternated with half-moon shapes. Six smaller knobs are placed around the central boss; these smaller knobs may represent animals of some significance as well. The outer rim of the mirror is inscribed with an untranslated passage that could be a poem, a personal inscription which identified the owner, or an inspirational epigram. BRONZE MIRRORS Before the invention of the modern

Image of 59.2 -

59.2 -

This bust-length figure crowned with laurel leaves, wearing a broadly-draped cape fastened over a square-necked tunic, appears to be a 1500-1599 AD man in the guise of a Roman emperor. However, this facial type, with thick eyebrows and brushy moustache, does not resemble any known antique emperor type. It is nevertheless based upon the late Hellenistic and Roman belief in survival after death, and that the face was the vestige of the mortal being who either earned or lost a blissful hereafter. Its visual sources are late Roman: 2nd-century C.E. male busts are shown with hair and beards that cascade with curls, as opposed to a century later, when the long, flowing curls vanish and the close-fi

Image of 60.2 - Severo da Ravenna

60.2 - Severo da Ravenna

Attributed to the workshop of the prominent Paduan sculptor Severo da Ravenna, this statuette shows a satyress sitting calmly on an antique-style tree stump, with one arm around the shoulders of a child satyr, and the other extended, probably once supporting the candleholder now bolted to the statuette's base. In the tradition of similar Renaissance bronzes, the group is elegantly and naturalistically modeled, with a typical interest in the careful and lifelike representation of bodily form. Like the statuette's naturalistic style, its subject would have been incongruous in the pre-Renaissance era. The satyress, like her male counterpart, the satyr, is a creature derived from classical myt

Image of 60.83 - Algardi, Alessandro (Follower of)

60.83 - Algardi, Alessandro (Follower of)

Created by a follower of the high-Baroque sculptor Algardi, the sculpture depicts the Flagellation scene in which Christ is tied to a column and whipped before his Crucifixion. With the ever-growing presence of the Protestant movement, Catholic Church officials tried to fight what they saw as heresy by using visual representation as a form of education for the masses. In order to ensure universal comprehension, art was to be devoid of any extraneous detail that might lead the viewer astray from the intended religious teaching, and thus become himself become a heretic himself. Our sculpture of Christ, now placed alone in the facsimile of a wooden interior of a church, still retains the Coun

Image of 60.84 -

60.84 -

This Roman gladiator is a direct revival of classical antiquity based on a known source. This small bronze, as well as the other bronzes in the exhibition, helped Renaissance knowledge expand across the modern world, since art was dispersed throughout Europe. Also, like many bronzes, this object may have been made from a unique mold and thus never reproduced, unless the artist took a cast of the original. A humanist might have been the commissioner of this bronze, since such people were very interested in the revival of both classical texts and classical art. Unfortunately for us, the collectors of these bronzes did not feel it was important to record whether a bronze was an original, first c

Image of 60.85 - Garnier, Pierre

60.85 - Garnier, Pierre

Antiquity was an endless source of inspiration for Renaissance artists. In 1496-97, Michelangelo created a standing marble figure of a Bacchus, which seems to be the model for our figure. The Greek god stands in an exaggerated classical contrapposto position on a rectangular base. In his right hand he holds a tazza (wine cup) and in his left a bunch of grapes. Dionysus leans against a tree stump covered by an animal skin and grapevines, which curl up and cover his genitals. Wine was his gift to his followers, who drank it in abundant quantities and indulged themselves at orgies that accompanied the ritualistic ceremonies dedicated to him. The basic characteristic of these rituals was ecstasy,

Image of 60.86 -

60.86 -

This small Italian Renaissance bronze is also an example of the direct imitation of classical antiquity. The miniature statue is modeled after the famous, over life-size Hercules that the Farnese family dug up from the Baths of Caracalla in Rome in the 16th century. Much interest was aroused by that nearly ten-foot-high, highly-detailed statue. The Greek artist Glykon's signature is on the ancient statue, but scholars believe that he modeled it after a bronze attributed to Lysippos. The Farnese Hercules was immensely popular and attracted many visitors. Humanist scholars who read ancient texts and collected ancient artifacts were the most likely people to acquire such small bronze copies o

Image of 61.5 - Riccio, Andrea

61.5 - Riccio, Andrea

Formerly attributed to the workshop of the Italian sculptor Severo Calzetta da Ravenna, "Atlas Supporting an Oil Lamp" is a product of a bronze-casting technique that enabled the artist and his assistants to create more than one statuette from a given model. Set upon a square base, the titan is weighed down by an oil lamp, shaped like the globe of the heavens, resting upon his right shoulder. He supports himself with his left hand and turns his head towards the lamp, the hemispheric lid of which is lost. Most likely, a spout and a wick emerged through the missing cover. Atlas' upward-turned head conveys either anguish or anger, since he was condemned to the labor of bearing the heavens on his

Image of 63.19 -

63.19 -

This Relief Mirror is an example of the TLV design. Around the central knob-like figure is a square, which represents the earthly realm. "T" shapes emerge from the sides of this square, representing the four celestial corners of the universe. Around the central square is a circle, which represents the heavenly realm, and inscribed on the inside of this circle, the "L" symbols represent the four terrestrial directions, and the "V" symbols represent the seasons. The zigzag pattern around the peripheral of the circle represents the mountain ranges the Chinese believed encircled the world. The zodiac figures that are discernable around the circle may have symbolic relationships with the card

Image of 63.21 -

63.21 -

This mirror is an example of a zodiac pattern used on the backs of Chinese hand mirrors. Zodiac symbols continued to be a popular design well into the Tang dynasty. The pattern on this mirror shows beautiful decorative shapes common to that era. The mirror's outer profile shows a floral shape instead of the circles seen in previous mirrors, and the floral motif is continued with floral designs throughout the object. Around the central boss are four images of mythical animals or zodiac figures, two of which could be identified as lions and two as horses or rams. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum

Image of 63.22 -

63.22 -

BRONZE MIRRORS Before the invention of the modern mirror, many ancient civilizations utilized bronze mirrors which required frequent polishing of their smooth convex surfaces. Such mirrors were introduced to China in the 6th century BC, and were thought to ward off evil spirits by their reflection of light. They were a luxury item reserved for royalty, and later versions often included personalized inscriptions or seals. Although these mirrors are not Taoist items per se, many of them are significant in a Taoist context because they display cosmological diagrams which reveal the basic Taoist principles of the cardinal directions and their animal guardians, as well as other intellectual un

Image of 64.30 - Severo da Ravenna

64.30 - Severo da Ravenna

The statuette shows a satyress, a mythological being who combines the characteristics of a human and a goat, seated in a frontal pose on a wooden base that has lost part of its molding. One of her hands is extended, holding what might once have been a candlestick, while the other is bent awkwardly at her side. The work is in good condition, but seems unfinished, with slightly uncontrolled modeling and a lack of fine detail. Its composition is remarkably similar to that of another small bronze satyress, in the collection of the Museo di Palazzo Venezia, which has been attributed to the workshop of the Paduan artist Severo da Ravenna, and also to that of catalogue in this exhibition, a Seate

Image of 66.15 -

66.15 -

This figure of the standing Buddha, with upraised arms and a flame-shaped mandorla topped with a jewel behind the upper half of the figure, shows Tang dynasty style and iconography. It exhibits the long, thin head and limbs and narrow waist. The gilding is significantly worn in many places, revealing the brown bronze core beneath. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," Queens College, CUNY, 2003.

Image of 66.16 -

66.16 -

This standing figure of the Buddha is likely a depiction of the Buddha of the Future or Maitreya Buddha. Maitreya Buddha is shown in the world, wearing elaborate jewelry, crowns, robes, and other royal adornments. This piece is cast with a loop on the back to be worn as a protective talisman or secured to an alter arrangement. This Buddha wears the monk's robes as well as a girdle and sash, with a hint of an ornamental garland around his legs, shoulders, and head. A jeweled necklace hangs from his neck, and the ushnisha atop his head is pronounced and jewel-shaped. His pendant right arm seems to hold a garland, and his left arm, broken at the forearm, may have held a lotus flower. Referenc

Image of 66.17 -

66.17 -

This figure of the Buddha seated in the posture of royal ease shows a strong iconographical relationship to Indian art along with Tang dynasty style and iconography. It exhibits the long, thin head and limbs and narrow waist. The gilding is significantly worn in many places, revealing the brown bronze core beneath. The sculpture has a basically static, frontal composition. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," Queens College, CUNY, 2003.

Image of 66.30 -

66.30 -

This figure of the Buddha stands on a simple pedestal, its gentle relief carving shows a schematic rendering of the characteristic "swallowtail" or "waterfall" garment folds that are an interpretation of traditional Buddhist robes. The emphasis on these heavy robes over the nearly imperceptible body beneath is distinctive of the Wei-Longmen style. Reference: Winter, Amy H., with Xiaoping Lin (eds.), "The Light of Infinite Wisdom: Asian Art from the Godwin-Ternbach Museum and Other Collections," Queens College, CUNY, 2003.