Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st century BCE. A solid, cast bronze sculpture depicting the bearded Olympian god Bacchus (Greek Dionysos or Dionysus) - god of wine, pleasure, ritual madness, ecstasy, and theatre - reclining in a languid pose on his side, his nude body quite muscular, holding a cup in one hand and leaning upon what may be a panther skin with the other. This piece is an early portrayal of Bacchus, as it shows him with a full beard; in the 2nd century CE, Roman artists started depicting him as a youth, with a smooth face. The cult of Bacchus was hugely popular, signifying the freedom created by wine, music, and ecstatic dance. Romans knew the power of partying! An outstanding example with rich patina and two striations on the right arm suggesting silver inlays. Size: 2.875" W x 1.75" H (7.3 cm x 4.4 cm); 2.25" H (5.7 cm) on included custom stand.
Provenance: private east coast, USA collection
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