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Bull’s Head Attachment Form a Cauldron (8th century BCE)

For Artwork in Focus we explore individual artworks, critiquing their style and discussing their socio-political context. Today we look at Bull’s Head Attachment Form a Cauldron (8th century BCE) which is Attributed to the Lion Painter.

About the Work

Title : Bull’s Head Attachment Form a Cauldron
Year : 8th century BCE
Medium : Bronze
Dimensions :  10 x 12 x 11 cm (3 15/16 x 4 3/4 x 4 5/16 in.)
Location : Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

This piece dates back to the Iron age, and is from the Urartian culture. The museum observes that it has undergone some restoration. The object has been polished in the recent past and black colour had been added to it. Despite this, areas of bare metal have resurfaced perhaps due to natural weathering. Further, the bull is missing one of its horns.

This piece was in fact the decorative part of a cauldron. It was common in ancient times to design utilitarian objects artistically. Generally, craftsmen spend a lot of time and effort in perfecting their trade.

Other Details

Bull’s Head Attachment Form a Cauldron is housed in the Harvard Art Museums in Room 3440. It is part of the museum’s collection of the Ancient Near Eastern Art in the Service of Kings – Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Art. The piece has been housed at the Fogg Art Museum since 1943.

To learn more about iconic artworks and their socio-political context, visit Artwork in Focus.

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