Skip to Main Content

Wild Man

late 1400s
Overall: 13.4 cm (5 1/4 in.)
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.
Location: not on view

Download, Print and Share

Did You Know?

The wild man is derived from the Greek satyr who lived in the woods.

Description

Common in medieval art, the wild man is humanlike in appearance with long shaggy hair over his entire body and typically carries a club. Living at the fringe of society in woodland areas, wild men symbolized man in his natural, uncivilized state. Perhaps derived from the part-man part-beast satyr of antiquity, the wild man symbolized lust and aggression in contrast to the spiritual love embodied in medieval chivalry. This bearded version is shown kneeling while raising his right arm holding a club. He wears a twisted cloth circlet on his head and a similar belt at the waist. It has been suggested that this sculpture originally formed part of a suspended candelabra. It may also have served as support for large metal vessels.
Wild Man

Wild Man

late 1400s

Germany, Nuremberg(?)

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@clevelandart.org.

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.