Statuette of Molossian Hound (Primary Title)
Like a Molossian hound or tawny Laconian, the shepherd’s friend, I’ll pursue with ears pricked through deepest snow whatever wild beast runs before me. — Horace (Roman poet, 65–8 BC), Epode 6
The Molossian hound, ancestor of the modern mastiff, was prized as a guard hound and dog of war. This depiction of a Molossian at rest captures the strength of the breed but also evokes literary descriptions of Molossians as obedient and silent hunters. Cast using the lost-wax method, this highly detailed bronze (even the tendons of the paws are depicted) may have adorned—and watched over—a chest or ceremonial chariot.
Mottahedeh, P.E. Out of Noah’s Ark: Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection (Jerusalem 1997), no. 72
Kozloff, A. Animals in Ancient Art from the Leo Mildenberg Collection (Cleveland, 1981), 196 – 7, no. 184
Galerie Koller Zurich: The Ernest Brummer collection (Zurich 16 – 19 Oct. 1979), lot 578
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.