Torso of Dionysus
Egyptian, Classical, Ancient Near Eastern Art
On View: 19th Dynasty to Roman Period, Martha A. and Robert S. Rubin Gallery, 3rd Floor
This gray-black basalt torso of a youth probably represents Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and pleasure. The attribute of the skin of a recently slain fawn worn as a shawl over the god’s shoulder is the indicator of the subject mater. Similarly, the ends of the meandering, shoulder-length locks of his hair, visible beside the neck, in their length and luxurious disarray also point to the youthful Dionysus. The smooth bodily contours, too, suggest the god’s identity—though one scholar has called this particular sculpture of Dionysus “plump,” with some excess weight gained through overindulgence in wine and sybaritic pursuits.
2nd-3rd century C.E.
Hadrianic or Antonine copy of a Hellenistic statue
29 × 14 1/2 × 8 1/4 in. (73.7 × 36.8 × 21 cm)
120.5 lb. (54.7kg) (show scale)
Archaeological provenance not documented, reportedly from an old princely estate in Rome, Italy; by 1967, acquired by Henri Kamer of France; by 1967, purchased from Henri Kamer by an anonymous collector; 1968, loaned by an anonymous lender to the Brooklyn Museum; 1980, gift of an anonymous donor to the Brooklyn Museum.
Roman. Torso of Dionysus, 2nd-3rd century C.E. Basalt, 29 × 14 1/2 × 8 1/4 in. (73.7 × 36.8 × 21 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Anonymous gift, 80.249. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 80.249_front.jpg)
front, 80.249_front.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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