This bust adaption originates from a full-figure marble sculpture of Antinous depicted as Dionysus, housed at The Pio Clementino Museum (ORIG330), originating from around 130-138 BC.
The Emperor Hadrian became obsessed with Antinous, a young man from Asia Minor, to the extent that the Emperor created a cult of Antinous when the young man died, in 130 CE.
Hadrian also loved Classical Greek sculpture, so had made a number of sculptures of the beautiful youth in the guise of various gods. Here we see Antinous as Dionysos the Greek wine god. The inspiration from fifth century BCE Greek sculpture is clear, although the added sense of brooding romance in this sculpture means it could never be mistaken for the work of Pheidias or the other High Classical masters.
The full-length figure was originally draped in bronze.
Text - museums.classics.cam.ac.uk
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