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Museum of Classical Archaeology Databases

Dancing Satyr

A musical companion of the god Dionysos. This twisting figure is relatively subdued in comparison to most statuary of satyrs, who are usually shown in exuberant motion and with grimacing faces. The treetrunk support draped with an animal skin suggests that the original is a marble copy of a bronze original which would have been freestanding.

The original from which this cast is taken was heavily restored in the nineteenth century; the face shows that the satyr was playing a flute, not the finger cymbals shown. Why the restorer, Thorvaldsen, ignored the evidence of the figure’s puffed cheeks is a mystery

Number: 
357
Material: 
Marble
Location of Original: 

Rome, Villa Borghese

Size: 
2.06m
Accession: 

Purchased in 1884 from Malpieri of Rome

References: 

Lippold: Griechische Plastik, pl. 104.3
Bulle: Der Schöne Mensch im Altertum (1922), 49, pl. 79
Brunn-Bruckmann: Denkmäler Griechischer und Römischer Skulptur, pl. 435
Walston: Catalogue of Casts in the Museum of Classical Archaeology (1889), 92, no.500
Bieber, M: Sculpture of the Hellenistic Age (1981), 139

Date: 
Hellenistic
Provenance: 

Found in 1824 on Monte Calvo near Rieti in central Italy

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