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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.
MEDIUM Basalt
DATES 2nd-3rd century C.E.
PERIOD Hadrianic or Antonine copy of a Hellenistic statue
DIMENSIONS 29 × 14 1/2 × 8 1/4 in. (73.7 × 36.8 × 21 cm) 120.5 lb. (54.7kg)  (show scale)
ACCESSION NUMBER 80.249
CREDIT LINE Anonymous gift
RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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CAPTION 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)
IMAGE front, 80.249_front.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2005
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 <em>Torso of Dionysus</em>, 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)

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