It is one of the most famous Etruscan statues ever unearthed and one of the highlights of the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze.
The bronze statue was discovered in Arezzo in 1553 and was quickly claimed for the collection of Duke Cosimo I de' Medici, who had it brought to Florence. The creature was at first taken to be a lion, but was soon identified as the mythical chimera from Greek mythology.
According to the ancient Greeks, the chimera was a monstrous fire-breathing hybrid, a lion which had the head of a goat springing from its back, and a tail that often took the form of a snake.
There is an inscription on the right foreleg, which, most scholars agree, reads TINSCVIL. The statue was therefore a votive object dedicated to the supreme Etruscan god of day, Tin or Tinia. The statue is thought to have been created around 400 BCE. The tail is an 18th-century addition.