Apr 12, 2007
Apr 12, 2007

Statuette of a Lion

Statuette of a Lion

380–246 BC


Overall: 13.8 x 12 cm (5 7/16 x 4 3/4 in.)

Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1920.2001


Did you know?

In antiquity, lions were often associated with rulers and this miniature sculpture likely depicts the Egyptian lion god Mahes. In ancient Egypt, a special city known as Leontopolis, or "Lion-City," had a temple dedicated to this deity in which live lions were kept. This small limestone sculpture would have been at home in such a location.


Lions in Egyptian art are usually shown prone and relaxed, and usually represent the king. But this statuette probably represents the lion god Mahes who had a great temple at Leontopolis ("Lion-City") in the Delta where lions were kept. We know from classical authors that the temple maintained musicians to play to the lions to calm their nerves.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.