Wounded Chimaera. From Arezzo. Bronze. Etruscan. Early fourth century, BC.
In Greek mythology, the Chimaera traditionally is female, and has the head and body of a lion, a snake for a tail, and has a goat heat emerging from its back. It even breathed fire. This depiction shows it as wounded (see the goat’s neck). The Greek hero Bellerophon is known to have killed the Chimaera.
This particular piece has a sense of depth and detail, given the spikes of the mane around the Chimaera’s head. This is more indicative of the classical period. This may be related to a painted Greek vase of the century previous, as can be seen in the treatment of the mane.
This vase was imported to Spina, which is not far from Arezzo, thus making it a possible inspiration for the sculpture.
The Arezzo Chimaera sculpture also has the word “tinscvil” carved into it, which means “devoted/gift to the gods”, which likely means that it was a votive offering to an Etruscan deity.