Farnese Bull

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Ancient marble sculpture group (probably a Roman copy of a Greek original of c.150 bc), once part of the Farnese collection and now in the Archaeological Museum in Naples. The subject, taken from Greek legend, shows the punishment of Dirce, who for her cruelty to Antiope was tied to the horns of a bull by Antiope's sons (Dirce's stepsons) and trampled to death. The figures are life-size, and the group, which was found in the Baths of Caracalla in Rome in 1545, is one of the most spectacular examples of the technical virtuosity and dramatic movement typical of Hellenistic art; Federico Zuccaro described it as a ‘marvellous mountain of marble’.

Subjects: Art.

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