The Moschophoros and Kalbträgerin are two scultpures that depict calf-bearers. One is from ancient Greece, and the other is from contemporary Europe.
The Moschophoros was made about 570–560 BCE in what is now known as the Archaic Period. The artist’s identity is no longer known. It was found in the 1860s at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The original is now in the Acropolis Museum. The sculpture originally depicted a standing man, but the extant sculpture is missing the lower portions of the legs, having been broken across the thighs and sundered at the knees. The man has long braided hair. He carries a calf across his shoulders, his hands grasping the calf’s legs. It is generally understood that the calf is destined for sacrifice.
The Kalbträgerin was made in 2017 by Aleksandra Domanović (b. 1981), an artist originally from Serbia. The sculpture was part of an exhibition of the same title held in the Bundeskunsthalle in Bonn, Germany. The artist used computer modelling, 3D-printing, and casting to re-create the calf in a synthetic plaster called Corian. As in the Greek original, the calf is being held by human hands, but the rest of the human body has been replaced by a rectangular column. The exhibition addressed bioengineering research, especially on cattle, being done in US laboratories. By using a familiar classical work, the artist evokes collective visual memory.