Head of Satyr, 1st century

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Half man and half animal, satyrs were part of the entourage of Dionysus, the god of wine. They spent their time participating in revels, drinking, and chasing nymphs. This satyr's head is carved from red marble (rosso antico), quarried in the ancient area of Tainaron in the Peloponnesus, the peninsula south of mainland Greece. Because rosso antico is the color of red wine, it was often used for statues of Dionysus and his followers, both man and animal (such as satyrs, fauns, and goats).

Colored marbles, not widely used in Greece until the Hellenistic period, began to appear in Rome in the 2nd century BCE. In fact, it was with the conquest of Greece, Asia Minor, and especially Egypt that the Romans developed a special taste for colored stones, to which they assigned specific meanings.

Head of Satyr
Accession Number
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This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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