A fine 19th century bust of Bacchus, or Dionysus. This bronze library bust is modelled on the Landsdowne Antinous - who has assumed the guise of Dionysus - and is mounted on a gilt socle and a bronze banded base cast in low relief with a classical procession.
Notes: Antinous, the lover and companion of Emperor Hadrian, had one of the most recognisable faces in the Roman Empire. After his sudden death 130 AD, the grief stricken Emperor declared the youth had been reborn as a God. Representations of Antinous assuming the form of a God flooded the visual culture of the Roman Empire, and the Lansdowne Antinous was a larger than life bust which became renowned for its idealised beauty and quality. Antinous' image was commonly asssimilated with the well-known Gods such as Apollo, Mercury and indeed Bacchus. This bust was excavated at Hadrian's villa at Tivoli, and was likely part of a shrine dedicated to the youth.