December 8, 2009
The chosen work is a statue of Dionysos leaning on a female figure. This is a Roman copy of the original 4th century B.C. Greek statue. The statue is entitled “Hope Dionysos” after its former owner, Thomas Philip Hope. It was a Gift of The Frederick W. Richmond Foundation. The original statue was made of bronze and it is not certain if the woman was included. It is believed that it may have been added to the Roman copy for support.
The artist depicts Dionysos, god of wine and divine intoxication. This statue stands at 82 ¾ inches and is made of marble. Its composition is arranged in a compact matter, with much 3-D texture in the body and intricate attention to detail. Dionysos is standing in contrapposto, which is a prevalent technique in Ancient Greek sculpture to achieve a life-like representation of the human body through the shifting of weight. He has massive limbs, with calves that are very muscular and large in comparison to the rest of his body. The arms are also very large and the forearms, very muscular. His fingers are thick and slightly bent attempting to make fists. This exaggeration of the large size and contour detail of Dionysos’ body represents his high power and great strength. Dionysos posses idealized features, providing evidence of a god. It is apparent that the statue is essentially of the period of Classical Greece, but contains evidence of Rome through the use of clothing. This blend of culture portrays the strong relationship between the artwork of Greece and Rome. The ideal statues of Greece were essentially nude and created to display mans intention to be strong in nature. Even clothed, this intention to recognize strength is achieved. The representation of strength is supported essentially through his clothing. Dionysos wears the skin of a panther around his upper body. The head is tied around his waist and the paw hangs over his right...