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Satyr
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

After a model by Benvenuto Cellini
Italian, Florence, 1542
Bronze
1 ft. 10 3/8 in. x 3 1/2 in. x 3 5/16 in.
85.SB.69

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Though I called them satyrs, they showed nothing of the satyr except little horns and a goatish head; all the rest of their form was human .
--The Autobiography of Benvenuto Cellini

Satyrs from antiquity inspired Benvenuto Cellini, but his comment makes clear that he consciously discarded the characteristic pointed ears and lower body of a goat. Instead, he limited the figure's goat-like features to the face, which displays protruding horns and a savage, animal-like expression that Cellini described as "fiery and menacing, instilling fear into the beholders." Cellini designed this and a similar figure to flank the monumental entrance of Porte Dorée, the royal palace at Fontainebleau. Turning his head sharply to his left, the bearded and horned satyr gazes fiercely--with a dramatically furrowed brow; deeply chiseled eyes; full, gnarled lips; and an open-mouthed scowl--toward an unknown intruder. Cellini posed the figure with the right arm raised to support a cornice. In the left hand, a short stump suggests the thick club the figure was designed to lean on, which was evidently broken before the model was cast. The French King François I commissioned Cellini to execute the designs for Porte Dorée in the early 1540s; however, after being accused of theft in 1545 Cellini was forced to leave France. Consequently, the project was never completed. Scholars believe that in his haste, Cellini left the wax models for his design behind, and they were later cast by an unknown artist.

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