Friday, May 30, 2014

Lygia and the Bull

Oh, a statue of a naked woman tied to a bull? Okay.

Lygia and the Bull is a sculpture by Giuseppe Moretti, based on Henryk Sienkiewicz' 1895 novel "Quo Vadis," in which the Roman Emperor Nero condemned a princess to die in the arena because of her Christian faith. Without the backstory, however, tourists viewing it on display at Sarasota's Ringling Museum of Art are no doubt puzzled and quickly consulting the brochure. And of course, finding out the statue's grim meaning is a real buzzkill.


  1. The powerful image Lygia bound to the bull comes from a fictional story Quo Vadis by Henryk Sienkiewicz which in turn is derived from stories that Christian women were said to have been martyred by the Romans in a spectacle recreating the Greek legend of Dirce and the Bull

  2. It should be noted that there is Greek precedent for the tale of a woman killed by being tied to a bull - the story of Dirce: