Bronze Dyonisus

Bronze Dyonisus

The god is represented naked in a youthful aspect, with the right leg extended and the left one slightly bent, the right arm is extended while the left one is bent and in his hand he holds a thyrsus. The head, slightly oriented towards the right and the eyes looking downwards. Some details are executed with the technique of the damascening, which the insertion of leaves of other metals in the lowered surface of the sculpture: copper for the anatomical details (lips, nipples) and for the diadem, decorated with copper and silver triangles, berries and ivy leaves. The orbits of the eyes are, in contrast, in ivory and the irises, lacking, were probably made of coloured hard stone or vitreous paste.

The schema of the figure, denoting the influence of Polykleitos in the execution of the limbs but also the knowledge of the Praxitelic art, shown in the gentle movement of the head and in the sinous aspect of the hips, is ascribable to a famous statuary model created about the mid-4th century BCE, the so-called Dyonisus of the Woburn Abbey type, known through around 20 exemplars. Other elements, like the bent right arm, the hairdressing of long curling locks and the rendition of the eyes enable us to consider the work as an eclectic creation of the mid-imperial age, a reflection of the classicistic taste of that epoch.