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Statuette - A mounted Turk attacked by a Lion
  • A mounted Turk attacked by a Lion
    Fanelli, Francesco
  • Enlarge image

A mounted Turk attacked by a Lion

  • Object:


  • Date:

    ca. 1635-1640 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fanelli, Francesco (sculptor)

  • Materials and Techniques:


  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 117, case 1

This bronze group is made by the Anglo-Italian sculptor Francesco Fanelli in the second quarter of the 17th century.
The group represents a mounted Turk along with his dog, being attacked by a lion. The Turk is about to counter-attack with his sword.

The sculptor Francesco Fanelli was first documented in Genoa in 1608, where, until about 1631, he produced religious works in marble, silver, ivory and bronze. By 1635, he was working at the English court. Although he described himself 'sculptor to the King of Great Britain', it is unclear whether this title was officially conferred. The V&A owns versions of several small bronzes by 'ffrancisco the one-eyed Italian' listed in an inventory of Whitehall Palace in 1639. George Vertue stated that Fanelli 'lv'd and dyd in England'; he is last documented in 1641 and believed to have died soon after.

Physical description

A mounted Turk with his dog is attacked by a lion. The horses front legs are off ground, while the standing lion already bites into the horse's neck. The Turk's dog somehow hides below, just vaguely making an attempt to counter-attack the lion. The Turk just unsheathed his sword with his right hand about to counter-attack the lion.


ca. 1635-1640 (made)


Fanelli, Francesco (sculptor)

Materials and Techniques



Width: 19 cm, Depth: 14 cm

Object history note

Given by Dr. W. L. Hildburgh, F. S. A., 1953.

Descriptive line

Statuette group, A mounted Turk attacked by a Lion, Francesco Fanelli (active 1609-d.1665), Anglo-Italian, ca. 1635-1640

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Pope-Hennessy, John. 'Some Bronze Statuettes by Francesco Fanelli', in: The Burlington Magazine, XCV, May 1953, reprinted in: Essays on Italian Sculpture, London and New York, 1968, pp. 166-171
Radcliffe, A. and Thornton, P., 'John Evelyn's Cabinet', in: , CXCVII, April, 1978, pp. 254-262, n. 36

Production Note




Subjects depicted

Lion; Horseman; Sword; Horse; Dog


Bronze; Sculpture


Sculpture Collection

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