Requires Photography

Double herm with heads of a youthful Dionysos and child

Early Imperial Period, Augustan/Julio-Claudian
10 B.C.–A.D. 62

Findspot: Italy, Campania, Villa of the Contrada Bottaro, near Pompeii

Catalogue Raisonné

Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), no. 041.


Height: about 89 cm (35 1/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Marble Scientific Analysis: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.488 / delta18O -7.827, Attribution - Pentelikon.

On View

Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)


The Ancient World



Herm shaft with back-to-back heads of a youthful Dionysus (Bacchus) and child-Bacchus (?). Double herms were a creation of the imperial period and this example is one of four double herms found in the corners of the peristyle garden of the villa at Fondo Bottaro, one in each corner (see inv. nos. 1980.202, 1980.204-205).
The child’s head is large in scale and of different workmanship. It seems to reflect a restoration, perhaps after the earthquake of A.D. 62.

The surfaces are worn. The damage seems to have resulted both from the weathering when the sculptures stood in the courtyard of the villa and from the rise of the water table after they were buried. Extensive evidence of ancient repairs suggests that the ensemble (1980.201-206) suffered in the earthquake of A.D. 62 and was reconstructed in the villa’s garden courtyard in time for the eruption of Vesuvius in August of 79.


Found May 13, 1902 during excavation by Gennaro Matrone of the villa of the Contrada Bottaro, located a half mile south of Pompeii; ownership granted to Gennaro Matrone by the Italian government; by 1916: the Cleveland Museum of Art Collection (inv. no. 16.894); purchased by MFA from the Cleveland Museum of Art, June 18, 1980

Credit Line

Classical Department Exchange Fund