Sarcophagus Panel



Panel from a sarcophagus showing the triumph of Dionysus. The representation is similar to the Roman sarcophagus and its lid, found in the family chamber tomb, north of Rome, in Via Salaria (now in Walters Art Museum, Baltimore). A young Dionysus stands frontal onto the chariot led by lionesses, similarly in the way he is represented in the Baltimore sarcophagus in his passage to India. His female companion a maenad is to the left, and holds a cymbal in her right hand. In the middle ground and in front of the cart there are three figures, one playing the double pipes, the middle one looking up at the god and the one in front her, facing to her right and leading the procession. A naked satyr seems to be leading the lionesses. The hanging cloth in the background is a sign of the theatricality of the scene and is the same as the one used in the relief panel with Dionysus birth, 59.148.248, suggesting that the two panels were part of the same sarcophagus. Ashmole noted that the representation of the young clean shaven god, with his curly hair, held back by a fillet resembled the Head of Dionysus found in Smyrna (now in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden, Leiden) and dated in the 2nd century AD,