Roman Rosso Antico Marble Head of Dionysos
An ancient Roman rosso antico marble herm head of Dionysos (Bacchus) in archaistic style with two rows of snail curls across the brow and three curls stacked at both temples. The stone was cut to produce a side layer with a pale gray band framing the face.
Ca. 1st - 2nd century AD.
Dionysos (Latin: Bacchus or Liber) was the god of wine. Consequently he was seen as the personification of the life force of the vine and vegetation and the earth's fertiltiy. He was a volatile god whose rites were celebrated in an ecstatic and orgiastic fashion. His female devotees were the Maenads (Bacchantes) and their drunken and lascivious male counterparts were the Satyrs (Fauns). Drunken old Silenos was also a member of his retinue. No where in ancient literature is the passion and fury of Dionysos better articulated than in Euripides tragedy, "The Bacchantes," (ca. 406 BC). Where Dionysos and the women of Thebes exact a terrible revenge on young prince Pentheus for his failure to pay homage to the god.
Formerly in an American private collection.