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Currently shown

Eagle

Location

SOUTHERN ITALY

Title

Eagle

Date

2nd half of 12th c.

Materials

Marble

Dimensions

48.5 x 18 cm

Credits

Purchase, Annie White Townsend Fund, inv. 1953.Dv.2

Collection

Western Art

Although the association of the eagle with royal or imperial power is indisputably ancient in southern Italy, the iconography of this sculpture prevents us from associating it to a throne. It is conceivable that it dates from the reign of the last Norman monarchs. This eagle’s elongated, sinuous body is mutilated in several places: both feet are missing below the thigh, and the head is a modern replacement where the eye and the corner of the beak have been outlined. The sculpture is essentially smooth except for the wings. The meticulous rendering of the feathers, despite their often symbolic form, shows that the bird’s anatomy was the object of thorough study.

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