Graeco Roman Bronze Statuette of Dionysus

Graeco-Roman, 1st century B.C. - 1st century A.D.



H: 25.5 cm





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The youthful god of wine is identified by the ivy wreath which crowns his head; it is composed of the branches of his sacred plant with characteristic heart-shape leaves and clusters of berries. The god is standing in a self-representational pose, with his weight on his right leg, the left foot is slightly reared. The delicate curvature of the torso terminates with the head turned to the side and downward. One arm is lowered, there is a drinking horn in the hand (the wavy incisions imitate the rough surface of the horn). The other arm is bent and raised, there was probably a long thyrsus, his staff topped with a pine-corn, in that hand. His slender naked body is masterly modeled presenting very smooth and fluid transitions between the shapes. The quality of the bronze cast is superb and demonstrates the fine technique of incising the details, such as curly locks of hair at the sides of his face and long strands over the shoulders. The face has soft and sensitive lips, classical straight nose, and expressive eyes (the use of silver and green gemstone creates a striking effect of the divine inspiration).


The figure is placed on a low square base with architectural moldings (such bases are not often preserved); the upper and lower edges are decorated with the plastic ornament of tongues.


Glassy dark green patina; deposits inside the base; minor pits on the sides of base, on top of head, one green gemstone is added.


Art market, prior to the 1970’s;

Ex- Mr. E.R. collection, acquired in the early 1970’s