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Iberian protome of a ram, from the 3rd or 2nd century BC.
Carved head on the Cathedral of St. Jacob in Šibenik, Croatia; carved in the 15th century by Juraj Dalmatinac

A protome (Greek προτομή) is a type of adornment that takes the form of the head and upper torso of either a human or an animal.[1][2] Protomes were often used to decorate ancient Greek architecture, sculpture, and pottery.[1][3] Protomes were also used in Persian monuments. At Persepolis (ca. 521-465 BCE), an array of stone fluted [columns] topped by bull protomes distinguish the great hall (apadana) where the king received guests numbering over 10,000. [4]. Protomes, combining several different animals are also found at the palace of Adrius I, Susa, Iran. At his palace at Susa, pairs of complex protomes feature animals (mythic or real) known to be fierce or intimidating. These function symbolically and structurally: they symbolize power and cosmic balance, but they also support the beams of the ceiling structure. At Susa, the protome capitals form a socket that holds the roof beams in place.[5]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "protome | Definition of protome in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2018-10-04.
  2. ^ Bell, Malcolm (2014). Morgantina Studies, Volume 1: The Terracottas. New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
  3. ^ Hidden Treasures from the National Museum. Kabul, Tillya Tepe Tomb III page 262 item 178
  4. ^ Kleiner, Fred S. (2018). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History (16th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. p. 51. ISBN 9781337696739.
  5. ^ Kleiner, Fred S. (2018). Gardner's Art Through the Ages: A Global History (16th ed.). Boston: Cengage Learning. p. 52. ISBN 9781337696739.

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