The child Dionysus

Roman
Imperial Period
about A.D. 140–170


Dimensions

Mount (Black marble base ): 7.3 x 23.5 x 36.2 cm (2 7/8 x 9 1/4 x 14 1/4 in.) Case (painted wooden base): 67.3 x 66 x 66 cm (26 1/2 x 26 x 26 in.)

Accession Number

1994.229

Medium or Technique

Marble from Carrara, Italy

On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)

Collections

The Ancient World

Classifications

Sculpture

In this statue, Dionysus (also known as Bacchus), is portrayed with a childish face, body, and limbs. Dionysus was the god of drama, wine, and fertility. The god wears a wreath of ivy leaves and grapes over his wavy hair and grape-clusters over his ears. He also wears a fillet across his forehead that ends in tresses on his neck. His chlamys (cloak) is draped over his left arm and contains pomegranates and fruit, indicating abundance; the cloak is buttoned on his right shoulder and partially covers his protruding stomach.

The right arm is broken from the shoulder; and the drapery-covered left arm supports pomegranates and fruit, although the left hand is missing. The right leg is advanced; but his feet and part of plinth are missing. Some root-marks, incrustation, and abrasion can be found upon the surface of the piece.

Scientific Analysis:

University of South Florida Lab No. 8433: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.0 / delta18O -2.4,

Istituto di Struttura della Materia - CNR Lab No. 14 (January 30, 2012): maximum grain size: 0.65mm; electron paramagnetic resonance: intensity 85.1%, line width 57.7%; color % 84,

Attribution - Carrara. Justification - C and O isotopes, fine grain, flecks of gray, moderate EPR intensity

Provenance

By 1987: with Sotheby's, 1334 York Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10021 (Sotheby's sale, May 29, 1987, lot 105, illustrated on cover of the sale catalogue); by 1994, with Acanthus, 24 East 81st Street, New York, N.Y. 10028; purchased by MFA from Acanthus, October 26, 1994

Credit Line

Given in memory of Benjamin Rowland, Jr. by his wife and daughters