| Description | | Exhibits |

The permanent exhibition of the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

View of the Idol of a bullfighter, made of ivory
Bull-leaper figurine

This true masterpiece of Neopalatial miniature sculpture represents a bull-leaper. It was found together with fragments of other figurines and appears to have been part of a large composition depicting bull-leaping, the famous religious event of Minoan Crete. The bull-leaper is represented while jumping off the back of the animal, his arms and legs outstretched, his whole body imbued with the tension of this dangerous sport. His face, too, with the agonising eyes and half-open mouth, expresses the same tension. The treatment of anatomical details is remarkable and shows the knowledge and ability of the artist. The hair was inlaid in copper, as in other similar works of art, and the clothing was probable made of gold. This exquisite figurine is one of the earliest chryselephantine objects made in Greece.

Exhibit Features
Date: Late Bronze Age, about 1550 BC
Place of discovery: Knosos, Palace
Dimensions: length: 0,295 m
Material: Ivory
Inventory number: ΑΕ 3
Exhibition hole: Hall IV
Copyright: Hellenic Ministry of Culture
  Suggestive Bibliography
Βασιλάκης Α., Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, χ.χ., 89-91
Ελληνική Τέχνη, Η αυγή της ελληνικής τέχνης, Αθήνα, 1994, αρ. 52, 182, 322
Σακελλαράκης Ι.Α., Μουσείο Ηρακλείου, Αθήνα, 2003, 38-39
  See also
Bull-leapers fresco
Palace of Knossos