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Pella Archaeological Museum. Lion Hunt pebble floor mosaic, 325-300 BC.
The Lion Hunt mosaic, measuring 4.90 x 3.20 metres, formed part of a mosaic floor of the north andron (symposium or banqueting hall for men) in the "House of Dionysos" (see gallery page 2) in the centre of ancient Pella.
The lion in the centre is flanked by two hunters, each naked apart from a chlamys (short cloak), who approach it on foot. The figure on the left wears a petasos (πέτασος, a broad-brimmed hat) and aims a spear with his right hand, while holding a sheathed sword in his raised left hand. His companion on the right, who has short curly blond hair, holds a sword above his head with his right hand and is about to strike the lion. In his left hand he holds a scabbard. The lion's body faces left, but its head is turned to the right, as if suddenly surprised by the appearance of the second hunter. It is thought that the lower bodies and legs of both hunters, which are almost identical, were designed from same cartoon.
It has also been suggested that the composition was based on the "Ex-voto of Krateros", a bronze statue group depicting Alexander hunting a lion with one of his generals Krateros, commissioned by the latter and made by Lysippos and Leochares, which stood near the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Since none of the statues of the monument in Delphi has survived it is not possible to prove this theory.
According to the Roman writer Pliny the Elder, "pavements are an invention of the Greeks, who also practised the art of painting them, till they were superseded by mosaics."
Pliny the Elder, Natural History, Book 36, chapter 60, section 25. At Perseus Digital Library.
|Mosaics in Pella:
pebble mosaic floor
Stag Hunt mosaic
Abduction of Helen mosaic
Dionysos riding a panther
Lion Hunt mosaic
|More photos and information
on My Favourite Planet
A mosaic of Dionysos and "Sleeping Ariadne" from Ephesus,
now in the Izmir Archaeological Museum, Turkey:
Selcuk photo gallery 2
The "Alexander Mosaic" from Pompeii, depicting
Alexander the Great in battle with King Darius III:
Alexander the Great
in our People section
A Hellenistic mosaic, signed by Hephaistion, from Pergamon,
now in the Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germany:
Pergamon photo gallery 2
Ancient mosaics depicting the Gorgon Medusa
Mosaics from Pompeii signed by Dioskourides of Samos
Mosaics at Dion Archaeological Site, Macedonia, Greece:
Dion: garden of the Gods
at the Cheshire Cat Blog
"Choklakia" mosaics in Kastellorizo, Greece:
Kastellorizo photo gallery
Mosaics of Saint John the Theologian, on Patmos, Greece:
Patmos photo gallery
Modern mosaic commemorating Saint Paul
the Apostle's visit to Veria, Macedonia, Greece:
Veria photo gallery
See also a mosaic mural made by the author of this guide:
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