Lion attacking a quadruped (architectural fragment)

Accession Number

Lion attacking a quadruped (architectural fragment)


Artist Nationality
Indian (South Asian)

Object Creation Date
3rd century - 4th century

Medium & Support

9 ⅛ in x 14 ½ in x 3 13/16 in (23.2 cm x 36.9 cm x 9.7 cm);9 ⅛ in x 14 ½ in x 3 13/16 in (23.2 cm x 36.9 cm x 9.7 cm);1 ⅞ in x 13 15/16 in x 3 9/16 in (4.8 cm x 35.4 cm x 9 cm);10 7/10 in x 14 ½ in x 4 1/16 in (27.2 cm x 36.9 cm x 10.3 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Mark W. and Iuliana Phillips

Label copy
This slab of clay was probably once part of a frieze with natural and mythological animals that decorated the exterior of a brick temple. Here, a tiger is shown in profile attacking a hoofed quadruped, while the mask-like face of another creature is shown frontally, spewing jeweled necklaces from its mouth, symbolizing prosperity and fecundity. A similar relief, quite possibly from the same building or site, is found in the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
Exhibited in "Divine Encounters, Earthly Pleasures: Twenty Centuries of Indian Art," 12/12/03-2/22/04.

Subject matter
animal combat
a lion mask spewing strands of pearls

Physical Description
A terracotta block, probably originally part of a frieze around a building, with molded and incised design.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
architectural element

Collection Area

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architectural firms
fragments (object portions)
relief (sculpture techniques)

1 Related Resource

Before 1492
(Part of 3 Learning Collections)

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted