Support for one-legged table
Sculpture in Stone (MFA), no. 219; Sculpture in Stone and Bronze (MFA), p. 112 (additional published references).
Height: 80 cm (31 1/2 in.)
Medium or Technique
Marble, probably from the Greek island of Paros
Classical Roman Gallery (Gallery 213)
Support for one-legged table (monopodium) decorated with figures of Dionysus (Bacchus) and a panther.
The god wears a crown of grape leaves and a fawn’s skin while the panther at his right places a forepaw on the sacred cista or basket. The god’s lowered right hand once held a kantharos, and the raised left may have grasped his thyrsos, or pinecone-topped staff. The Praxitelean in form and proportions are in keeping with the tendency in the second and third centuries A.D. to show Dionysus as a youthful deity. The drilling of his eyes suggests that this piece was carved between A.D. 150 and 225.
Such tables were used in both public and domestic settings for for a variety of purposes, such as altar tables for holding offerings, to hold images of the household gods (lares), or for the display of treasured objects.
The panther’s head has been broken and reset, but it appears to be ancient and belonging. The surfaces are worn and are now a yellow-buff.
Harvard Lab No. HI730a: Isotope ratios - delta13C +1.89 / delta18O -3.89, Harvard Lab No. HI730b: Isotope ratios - delta13C +2.11 / delta18O -3.76, Attribution - Paros 2, Ephesos 2, Aphrodisias 2, Usak, Mani, Heracleia, Justification - Medium grained marble.
By 1960: with Ars Antiqua AG., Haldenstrasse 5, Lucerne, Switzerland (auction 2, Hotel Schweizerhof, Lucerne, May 14, 1960, lot 59) (said to be from a collection in Scotland); by 1965 with Royal Athena Galleries, 24 East 80th Street, New York (Art of the Ancient World, I, New York, 1965, no. 37); by 1970: Paul E. Manheim Collection; gift of Paul E. Manheim to MFA, March 11, 1970
Gift of Paul E. Manheim