Fountain sculpture of sleeping Silenus - ROM2004_1017_12


Fountain sculpture of sleeping Silenus

Medium:Carved marble
Geography: Roman copy of Greek original
Date: 1st-2nd century AD based on original of circa 200 BC
Period: Roman Imperial period
85 x 38 cm
Object number: 999.116.1
Credit Line: Gift of the Louise Hawley Stone Charitable Trust
On view
Gallery Location:Gallery of Greece

Sleeping Silenos

Silenus, an old satyr who tutored Dionysus, is sleeping off the effects of a wine-drinking party. This Roman marble sculpture was adapted from a Greek original of c. 200 BC and used as a fountain. The Romans knew Dionysus, the god of wine, as Bacchus. Although initially worshipped in Rome, his cult was banned in 186 BC, because it was considered too promiscuous. However, a more respectable Bacchus reappeared about three hundred years later as the god of a mystery cult that promised his adherents eternal life after death. Roman artists copied and adapted Greek representations of Dionysus and his wild entourage for their own purposes, which ranged from religious cult statues to purely decorative garden sculpture.

Roman World
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