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    Sale 1915

    Antiquities

    6 December 2007, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 179

    A ROMAN MARBLE MOSAIC PANEL

    CIRCA MID 2ND CENTURY A.D.

    Price Realised  

    A ROMAN MARBLE MOSAIC PANEL
    CIRCA MID 2ND CENTURY A.D.
    With a triumphal Bacchic procession moving to the right, composed of brightly colored tesserae on a cream ground, the youthful god riding a chariot pulled by two tigers, depicted nude, crowned in a wreath of ivy and berries, a mantle billowing behind, a filleted thyrsus in his raised right hand, the chariot driven by a youthful satyr holding the reins in one hand, a pedum in the other, with a maenad and Pan leading the procession, Pan hunched forward with his head turned back, with a human torso and goat legs, goat horns at the center of his head, his syrinx, or pipes, in his lowered left hand, a pedum in his right, the draped maenad further to the right, a torch in her raised right hand, a tympanum in her left, a maenad and Paposilenus following behind, the maenad with a billowing mantle, a tambourine in her lowered left hand, a staff pointed forward in her raised right hand, her head turned back toward Paposilenus, depicted bearded with a bald pate, wearing a mantle over a tunic, a spear in his lowered right hand, his left hand supporting a fruit-filled liknon atop his head, an uneven groundline with shadows below, framed in a red border on four sides
    114 in. (289.6 cm.) long (as framed)


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    Stylistically and thematically, this mosaic resonates with examples from Roman North Africa. According to Blanchard-Lemée, et al., Mosaics from Roman Africa, p. 87ff., the importance of the cult of Dionysus in this part of the Empire is evidenced in literary, inscriptional and archaeological data. In El Djem (ancient Thysdrus), Bacchic mosaics have been uncovered in many of the excavated private homes. Such iconography remained prevalent well into the Christian period.

    Provenance

    Acquired by the current owner in 1978.