ROMAN BRONZE STATUETTE OF DIONYSUS
Measurements: 6.8 cm – height (without stand), 9.4 cm – height (with stand)
Description: A finely executed Roman bronze statuette depicting a young, beardless Dionysus (Bacchus). The figure wears a wreath of grapes on his head, a nebris (panther or fawn skin) draped over his left shoulder and sandals tied up around his ankles. Dionysus is holding a kantharos in his right hand, while his left hand is aloft, and was probably grasping a thyrsus or grapes. The figure is mounted on a custom made bronze stand with felt lining to the bottom. The figure is dynamic and giving the impression of movement, depicted in typical contrapposto stance developed in Classical and Hellenistic periods.
Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, vegetation, revelry and religious ecstasy. He was the son of Zeus and the mortal princess Semele of Thebes and he was the only one of the twelve Olympian gods to have a mortal mother. Figurines of the deities were primarily used as votive offerings to be dedicated in the temples. The Romans also had small house shrines, lararia, for private worship. The range of the statuettes was determined by the choice of the family’s divine protectors.
Reference: National Archaeological Museum, Athens, inv. no. 16773.
Palazzo Altemps, National Roman Museum, inv. no. 60920.
Period: 1st - 2nd century AD
Condition: Very fine, intact with green patina covering the surface.
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