Roman, Imperial Period, ca. 1st to 2nd century CE. Finely cast via the lost wax (cire perdue) process, an elegant bronze statue of Bacchus (Greek Dionysos or Dionysus) - god of wine, pleasure, ritual madness, ecstasy, and theatre - depicted as a youth, with a smooth face, and nude save the nebris draped over his shoulder and donning a wreath of leafy grape vines. The cult of Bacchus was immensely popular, signifying the freedom created by wine, music, and ecstatic dance. Romans knew the power of partying! An outstanding example with rich patina! Size: 5" H (12.7 cm); 5.875" H (14.9 cm) on included custom stand.
The cult of Bacchus was immensely popular in ancient Rome, and symbols of the god - signifying the freedom created by wine, music, and ecstatic dance - were coveted. In addition to statues like this example, imagery of Bacchus was used to decorate mosaics, vessels, sarcophagi, furniture, and all manner of visual culture throughout the Roman Empire.
Published: J. Eisenberg, Art of the Ancient World , vol. XXIII (2012), no. 47.
Provenance: ex-private collection, Vienna, 1980s
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Right foot professionally reattached - quite well done and difficult to discern. Missing separately cast attributes once held in hands. Otherwise excellent and presenting wonderful patina.