According to the ancient myth, Europa was a beautiful Phoenician princess who was kidnapped by the king of the gods, Zeus,
disguised as a bull. Europa got onto the bull's back, and Zeus swam to the island of Crete where he revealed
his true identity and seduced her. Europa became the first queen of Crete, and Zeus gave her
three gifts: Talos, Laelaps, and a javelin that never missed.
In 1935 Cranbrook received a bronze replica of this sculpture by renowned Swedish sculptor Carl Milles, Cranbrook's resident
sculptor from 1931 to 1951. This sculpture is located behind the Peristyle and overlooks the Triton Pools. The
original sculpture is in Halmstad on the Swedish west coast, and other copies are in Millesgården, the
final home of Carl Milles on the island of Lidingö in Stockholm, and on the
campus of The University of Tennessee.
Cranbrook owns more than seventy of Carl Milles' sculptures. This sculpture and the Orpheus Fountain are perhaps his most