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HOME : Classical Antiquities : Classical Bronzes : Hellenistic Bronze Sculpture of Pan
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Hellenistic Bronze Sculpture of Pan - FZ.071
Origin: Gadara, Jordan
Circa: 350 BC to 200 BC
Dimensions: 1.875" (4.8cm) high x 3.5" (8.9cm) wide
Catalogue: V1
Collection: Classical
Medium: Bronze

Location: United States
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Half human, half-beast, this little pastoral god wears his goat horns as if they are part of his hat. There is a mischievous look in his eyes, as if he has just leaped from the bushes to startle us with the "panic" for which he is famous. Pan, from which we derive the word panic- is a God overlooked in later Greek mythos and art. The leader of the satyr beasts, master of the gay reed flute, and seducer- or rapist of countless nymphs and lesser Goddesses, lacked the decorum and grace of the Olympians who were paid such solemn homage in the wealthy poleis of marble. Pan is a rural deity, his coarse humor and frank hedonism far too friendly to ever tolerate the grave sacraments of temple-worship. Pan, the goatherd, is the manifestation of the human spirit at its most natural and its most lively. We see, lit up in this votive, the coarse enthusiasm of the God. The horns poking out of his cap and the scraggly roughness lend an aura of unruly mischief to the gentle creased face and wide doleful eyes. The sculptor of this piece has exposed to us his own nature in his devoted creation of this piece. He was a man who was quite in touch with the not-quite civilized within himself. For those of us today who enjoy a romp in the name of Pan, this piece is a reminder that it was not always considered so terrible to commit a bit of mischief. In fact, in the eyes of the Greek who produced this sculpture, we were being Godly. - (FZ.071)


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