Statue of young Dionysus

Inv. Scu 268

The young god wears a nebris and a clamys: a fairly uncommon combination of clothes. The first one, fastened on the left shoulder, falls crossing on his chest and below on the right thigh, while the rest of the lower part of the robe is largely lost.

The clamys, instead, is worn behind the left shoulder and wraps the left arm.

The figure is represented in a command position, the left arm held a thyrsos (candelabrum) up straight, while the right one had grapes; the left foot is put forward steadily and the fixed stare seems to look beyond the room where the statue is placed. He wears high boots at the feet and raises the free toes.

The attributes are the same as those described by Callistratus for the Dionysus sculpted by Praxiteles, but it would be imprudent to compare this statue with the work of Praxiteles, it is more likely to be a Roman copy of a late-Hellenistic original.

The work likely represents the “life-size Bacchus” that pope Pio IV acquired from Rinaldo of Mantua for 27 scudi on November 12, 1565, while according to Bertolotti, the statue was acquired from Niccolò Longhi. Presented to the Palazzo dei Conservatori by pope Pio VI and moved to Palazzo Nuovo in the 17th century, the statue was removed from the Gallery in 1736.

The work was probably found in Rome.