Part of a set. See all set records
Pink limestone (called "Verona Marble")
Overall: 75.9 x 50.2 x 120.7 cm (29 7/8 x 19 3/4 x 47 1/2 in.)
Weight: 611.442 kg (1348 lbs.)
Gift of the John Huntington Art and Polytechnic Trust 1928.861
According to medieval bestiaries, griffins could tear a man to pieces and carry a whole bovine away, as seen here.
Griffins are fabled creatures that have the characteristics of an eagle and a lion—combining watchfulness and courage. In Christian art, the dual nature of the griffin was often used to signify that of Christ himself: divine (bird) and human (animal). Griffins were often used as guardian figures in church sculpture and were placed in portals and choir screens. The creatures seen here, with their inward-turning heads, were certainly used for such a purpose. When viewed from the front, one griffin may be seen clutching the figure of a knight between its paws, while the other griffin holds a calf. Their original function was probably to support the columns of a porch in front of a church doorway.
The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
Is something not working on this page? Please email email@example.com.
Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.