About this object

A statue of the Greek god Dionysus or Roman Bacchus, as a young man. He has a hipshot pose, with the right right leg straight and the left leg bent. He looks towards the left. He is naked with a skin of an aninal hanging underneath his left armpit. His left hand is a restoration and holds a drinking cup ( kantharos ). His right arm embraces a thyrsos, a stick decorated with laurel or myrtle and associated with the Dionysian revellers. The god has his head slightly titled and has a naive expression. He wears a fillet on the crown of his head, his hair is long and untamed and falls onto his neck. Although he is easily identified as Bacchus because of the nebris and the thyrsos, he does not wear the typical crown of ivy and grapes.
The statue may be a Roman copy of a Dionysus by the ancient Greek sculptor of the 5th century BC, Polykleitos, though this sculpture is much more slender in proportions than the style of Polykleitos' statues.
Although the head does not fit the torso, it is from the same statue.
The statue group of a Satyr and Hermaphrodite (59.148.30) was found in the same context and Blundell records that it was bought from the widow of the La Piccola who was the keeper of the Capitol.

Object specifics

  • Type
  • Culture
    Roman Imperial
  • Artist/Maker
  • Place made
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Rome
  • Date made
    1st Century AD - 2nd Century AD
  • Materials
  • Location
    Item not currently on display
  • Acquisition
    Gift of Col. Joseph W Weld, 1959
  • Collector
    Henry Blundell
  • Place collected
    Europe: Southern Europe: Italy: Salone
  • Date collected
  • Measurements
    1690 mm x 590 mm x 590 mm x 325.5 kg
  • Note
    Compared by Furtwangler with statuettes in Berlin, Dresden and Petworth and attributed to the Polykleitan school. Bartman commented that the comparables had been heavily restored and that the type may have derived from post classical school.
  • Related people
    Henry Blundell ( Collector, previous owner); Niccolo La Piccola ( Previous owner); Joseph William Weld ( Previous owner)

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Previous owners

  • Joseph William Weld

    Owned from: 1958
    How acquired: By descent
    Owned until: 1959
    Disposal method: Donation
  • Henry Blundell

    Owned from: Unknown or unrecorded
    How acquired: Purchased
    Owned until: 1810
    Disposal method: Bequest
  • Niccolo La Piccola

    Owned from: 1760
    How acquired: Unknown or unrecorded
    Owned until: Unknown or unrecorded
    Disposal method: Bequest
Object view = Humanities
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