Dionysos art in 6thC BC
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- Marble statue of Dionysos
- Wearing a panther skin so we think Dionysos
- Found on acropolis
- 6th C BC
- Naxos quarry
- Colossal Dionysos
- unfinished - why? Could have been damaged (the head is cracked) or money could have run out, or it was no longer welcome politically?
- Max height about 35ft
- cf Athena Promachos (much later) approx 30ft or Olympian Zeus statue
- Bearded, one arm forward (to hold a thyrsos?)
- Long chiton
- Dionysos an important deity on Naxos
- He was raised there?
- A huge votive for a temple?
- RF Amphora Athenian
- By Psiax from Vulci
- Dionysos at symposium
- BF eye cup
- Warriors duelling over body
- Unusual composition
- This is the one below!!!
- Why this on the outside? Eyes would be shown to your peers - a joke
- But the warriors? A topic of conversation for the symposium?
- secondary red added
- Dionysos sailing over the sea
- Homeric Hymn to DIonysos – changing sailors
- into dolphins
D on a ship
- Triumph of D over mortals who challenge his
Bacchae is another ‘resistance myth’
- But the dolphins have no sign of their
- original sailor-form.
- It’s cultic. D arriving by sea. A new
- beginning to the sailing season, a new crop of wine. Common concepts.
- D reclines like a symposiast
- Greek symposia were compared to ships
- Drunkeness like sailing
- Illness then like sea-sickness!
- Then when you’ve finished your drink
- there’s the god, mirroring your actions – divine representation of the symposiast’s experience
- Also – he is solitary, none of his maenads
- or satyrs
- Francois Vse
- Volute krater
- Ergotimos and Kleitias
- Found in Etruria in a tomb
- First Athenian vase almost entirely decorated with human scenes.
- D is prominent on both sides
- He bears an amphora(iconography is next to it) – usually the satyrs would carry a larger burden and D would carry a little kantharos or something, so slight departure from the usual representation is interesting. It is not gold so not the amphora for Patroklos' ashes.
- Going to wedding of Peleus and Thetis.
- Procession of gods.
- Kheiron there?
- Return of Hephaistos on the other side: this is the earliest depiction and D leads the mule (as in Frogs)
- Also wine, music, sex (silenoi)
- Woman/nymph fully-dressed, heavy embroidered peploi
- Very ithyphallic depticion –even the donkey!
- 540-30 BC
- BF neck-amphora from Vulci
- side A: Dionysos and Maenads
- side B: Athena and Poseidon
- Maenads. Indisputably. Dressed, have ivy,
- animal skin, a dead hare, dancing, one is holding a small stag
- Skin painted in outline, not in white. Only done in Egyptian region - Amasis is not a Greek name so there is speculation.
- Hares are unusual. Offering to D? She becomes an adoring follower
- A hare can be a trophy from a hunt or a love gift
Ivy branch is predecessor to thyrsus
- Athene and Poseidon: contest over who would
- be patron deity of Athens? Compared to Oinopion scene by Exekias. Calmness.
- Athene has been painted white
- Dionysos is calm on the other side in the
- face of the dancing maenads.
- No men. No silens. Likely Maenads.
- BF Amphora by Exekias
- Side A:
- A: (i) Achilles, Penthesilea
- (ii) Exekias epoiese
- (iii) Onetorides kalos
- Side B:
- ‘Son of the wine god’ – he offers wine but
- does not pour it
A mythical model of the wine grower
- D provides the vine, then has palatable
- wine presented to him
- Humans have cared for it and brought it to
- Wine-drinking god on symposium vessels a
- role-model for the drinkers there? Sober use of wine and all that? Daily life
- of male citizens.
Amasis more real-world
Exekias more mythical side
Apotropaic – averting bad luck/evil
influence (you find it at crossroads, doorways etc)
Marking territory and asserting superiority
Visual assertion of male dominance in
In a Dionysiac context it has been
suggested it just symbolizes sexual arousal for its own sake, especially when
the phalli were magnified and paraded around. Satyrs in a state of arousal –
due to wine and women?! Physiological result of Dionysiac powers?
Ancient doctors referred to intercourse as
‘the Divine Act’ so Dionysos associated with sexual urges – causing them?
Obviously Aphrodite was assoc with the actual act, but D to the run-up?
Embodying high emotion.
Satyrs = humans reduced to their most basic
Transcendental? Mythic figures mixed with
Often we see many satyrs and a single
The Francois vase has three labeled silenoi
The women are labeled as nymphs – word had
a sexual connotation
Nymphs vs Maenads
A Maenad has ritual dress, snake or
thyrsus, never nude
Nymphs are clothed or nude but have no
Maenads can be shown by themselves - maenads are a term from literature
Maenadism is temporary - in the play it is involuntary, too. In cult it would have been by choice but no less impermanent.
No silens in Bakkhai.
NB the chorus devoted to D from a foreign land - they are bakkhai.
Amasis and Exekias were contemporaries in
NB movement to the left = losing
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