Man and Centaur

Man and Centaur

Date ca. 750 BCE

Movement Greek | Late Geometric

Medium Bronze

Dimensions height 4.375″

Provenance Olympia, Greece (?)

Housed at Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York


Like the figures of the Dipylon Vase, the ones here are highly geometric, featuring triangular torsos, slim waists, rounded buttocks, and spherical heads. Though their poses indicate little action, their helmets and contact suggest they are engaged in combat, and the scale of the man can lead the viewer to believe that he will win. Many ancient Greeks would have made the trek to Olympia, not only for the games, but also to present sacrifices at the city’s numerous altars—this may have been one of those gifts.