Flight of Europa

Copied Paul Manship, Flight of Europa, 1925, gilded bronze on marble base, 22 18317 34 in. (56.278.819.8 cm), Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of the artist, 1965.16.26

Artwork Details

Flight of Europa
22 18317 34 in. (56.278.819.8 cm)
Credit Line
Gift of the artist
Mediums Description
gilded bronze on marble base
  • Mythology — classical — Cupid
  • Figure female — nude
  • Figure female — full length
  • Animal — cattle
  • Animal — dolphin
  • Mythology — classical — Europa
  • Mythology — classical — Zeus
Object Number

Artwork Description

These sculptures illustrate the story of Zeus, king of the gods in classical mythology, and the princess Europa. Zeus fell in love with Europa while watching her gather flowers by the sea, and approached her in the form of a great white bull. She was frightened, but soon began to play with the creature, and once she had climbed on his back, Zeus swam across the sea to Crete. In Europa and the Bull, the girl is shown caressing the face of the bull, and in Flight of Europa, she rides on his back as they travel across the water. Manship made many replicas of these sculptures and often gave them to his friends as souvenirs.