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Youthful Dionysus. Roman copy of Greek marble.
British Museum, London, United Kingdom.
Dionysus is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, fertility, theatre and religious ecstasy in Greek mythology.
He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. Dionysus was the last god to be accepted into Mt. Olympus. He was the youngest and the only one to have a mortal mother. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre. He is an example of a dying god.
The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish".
He was also known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans.
In art, the god appeared on many kraters and other wine vessels from classical Greece. His iconography became more complex in the Hellenistic period, between severe archaising or Neo Attic types such as the Dionysus Sardanapalus and types showing him as an indolent and androgynous young man and often shown nude (see the Dionysus and Eros, Naples Archeological Museum). The 4th-century Lycurgus Cup in the British Museum is a spectacular cage cup which changes colour when light comes through the glass; it shows the bound King Lycurgus being taunted by the god and attacked by a satyr.
FEATURED PHOTO, Beauty group, 10/15/2014
FEATURED PHOTO, Art fron the Past group, 10/15/2014
FEATURED PHOTO, The Galleria of Interior Design Art group, 10/15/2014
August 21st, 2013
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