God Dionysus Essay

Submitted By Aimeé-Brinkley
Words: 908
Pages: 4

Dionysus & Pan

In this stylistic analysis, I will discuss my observation of the sculpture “Dionysus”. This work of art is a three dimensional, free standing sculpture carved from marble. The piece is from the Roman period carved in the Greek style, around the time of the late classical era of 150-50 AD. It depicts the Greek god Dionysus, the god of wine and inspiration, and his follower the god Pan, the god of nature and Shepard. The art piece in question captures a moment of absorbed companionship between the two gods. I will give a detailed visual description of this art’s composition. Upon first glance your eye is drawn to the main figure of the god Dionysus. Even though Dionysus isn’t in the center of the sculpture and is placed more to the viewer’s left. The sculpture clearly has a hierarchy scale where Dionysus is clearly the central figure in the piece. His idealized perfect body with his muscles, smooth skin, and young physique still shows a naturalistic quality in the fact that he is clearly a human figure. He holds a look of dominance in his face, which is clearly shown with the set of his mouth and the cast of his superior gaze down upon his follower the Greek god Pan. Dionysus is also larger than the other figure representing his superior status over the lesser god, his follower Pan, and atop his head is a wreath of grapes. Another key aspect that reflects Dionysus hierarchy is the other god Pan. The lesser god’s facial expression draws your gaze to Dionysus. Pan’s face holds a reverent look of worship and amazement. This can be deducted by his wide eyed, slacked face, dropped jaw, and upward look of adornment. All these qualities subconsciously invoke the viewer’s general curiosity; they make you want to find out what or who holds the god’s attention. Thereby drawing your eyes to the god Dionysus and making him into the center focus. Dionysus stands in the contrapposto stance with his weight on his right leg and his body in a relaxed position with the legs crossed at his knees, while he leans against the large tree stump on his left. In contrast to Dionysus is his follower the god Pan. The figure of Pan challenges the overall effect of naturalism in the sculpture. Pan is a half human and half goat figure. While he has the general form of a man, he has several physical characteristics of a goat. He has hoofs instead of feet, and legs of a goat which are covered in rough textured fur. To further establish Pan’s animalistic characteristics, his thick curly hair and overflowing beard which cover most of his head is topped with goat horns. His human features include his chest with its smooth human skin and an even more idealized body of muscles then Dionysus. To add more contrast to the texture each of the gods have a goat skin draped over their shoulders, the goat skin only partially covers the gods chest, still leaving them nude. The fact that the object does not seem to hold a functioning purpose, implies that it must hold a more symbolic meaning similar to the crowning wreath of grapes on Dionysus head which shows his status. Along with the wine goblet in his right hand that rest on Pan’s shoulder symbolizing wine, both the gods hold a wooden staff. Pan’s goat legs are