Infant Bacchus on a Panther

1863
William Wetmore Story (American, 1819–1895)


Object Place: Rome, Italy

Dimensions

Overall: 123.5 x 123.2 x 47.3 cm (48 5/8 x 48 1/2 x 18 5/8 in.) Mount (Wooden base with carved and finished surfaces): 75.2 x 60.6 x 135.6 cm (29 5/8 x 23 7/8 x 53 3/8 in.)

Accession Number

RES.56.65a

Medium or Technique

Marble

On View

Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)

Collections

Americas

Classifications

Sculpture

The Roman fertility god Bacchus (Dionysus to the Greeks) is commonly associated with wine and mirth, the instigator of frenzied bacchanalia where inhibitions were loosened and social mores abandoned. Bacchus is traditionally represented as a young man, often drunk. Here, the intoxicated god is cloaked in deceptive youthful innocence. He rides a panther while holding a cluster of grapes. Abandoned at his feet lies his thyrsus-the wand tipped with a pinecone, an ancient fertility symbol.

Provenance

Theodore Lyman, Boston; Lyman famiily, Boston; Mrs. Henry Lyman, Brookline, Massachusetts.

Credit Line

Gift of Mrs. Henry Lyman