Infant Bacchus on a Panther
William Wetmore Story (American, 1819–1895)
Object Place: Rome, Italy
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.)
Medium or Technique
Penny and Jeff Vinik Gallery (Gallery 233)
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.
Theodore Lyman, Boston; Lyman famiily, Boston; Mrs. Henry Lyman, Brookline, Massachusetts.
Gift of Mrs. Henry Lyman