{ "objects" : [ { "embark_ID" : 165586, "URL" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Objects-1/info/165586", "Disp_Access_No" : "S.25", "_AccNumSort1" : "", "Disp_Create_DT" : "2nd - 3rd century CE", "_Disp_Start_Dat" : "2", "_Disp_End_Date" : "3", "Disp_Title" : "Roman Panther Head from a Marble Sarcophagus(?)", "Alt_Title" : "", "Obj_Title" : "", "Series_Title" : "", "Disp_Maker_1" : "", "Sort_Artist" : "", "Disp_Dimen" : "4 3/4 in. x 3 5/16 in. (12 cm x 8.4 cm)", "Disp_Height" : "4 3/4 in.", "Disp_Width" : "", "Dimen_Extent" : "", "Medium" : "Marble", "Support" : "", "Disp_Medium" : "Marble", "Info_Page_Comm" : "<SPAN>High relief with turn of head to the right. Strongly asymmetrical features. Smoothly carved, but many chisel marks on right side of face and jaw. Drill work accentuates features and mane. Mouth and fangs in open work. Tongue in relief. Since right side is given less attention in execution , it was probably not seen. It is obvious that this piece was attached to a larger surface as part of a relief. The broken stump on the right side further supports this conjecture. Cf. Glyptotheque Ny-Carlsburg, pl. 150 and text thereto. The relief on this sarcophagus shows panthers pulling Dionysus in a cart, their faces to right instead of left as the Bryn Mawr piece. The style is Trajanic. See also Altmann, AOAS, p. 101. Lionesses as another alternative do not compare well because of their fluffier manes and the convention of having their mouths completely open without teeth touching. Also the ears lie flat along the head and are set lower down. Cf. BrBr, pls. 641-645 and text thereto; M. Turcan, Les Sarcophages romains a representations dionysiaques (Paris, 1966), pls. 9, 33a, 35; Matz, Die dionysische Sarkophage (Berlin, 1968), vol. I, pls. 67, 69, 70, 77, II, pls. 97-99, 102; and often. (from Echoes from Olympus see publications.)<BR/><BR/>(from conservation report 9/16/2014): <BR/>"<SPAN STYLE="font-family:'Segoe UI';font-size:11pt">The relief shows a large cat in left-facing profile, mouth open. As it lacks the heavy mane of a lion or the spots of a leopard it is most likely a depiction of a panther. The front is highly finished with details rendered by a combination of drilling and fine line work. The reverse is only partially roughed out, with one half carved (muzzle) and the other broken (the neck). The treatment of the back suggests that the piece was cut or wrenched from a larger relief."<BR/></SPAN><BR/>"<SPAN STYLE="font-family:'Calibri';font-size:11pt">As the relief is quite high it is likely that it originated from a sarcophagus. Panthers are relatively uncommon in Roman art and they appear mostly as companions or attributes of Dionysus or Bacchus. On Dionysiac sarcophagi the god is often shown riding in a chariot drawn by panthers, sidesaddle atop one, or walking with one at his side. The latter two options seem more plausible source for this object. Harnessed panthers tend to be depicted as docile and usually have their mouth closed. Additionally, the fragment shows no signs of harness or yoke. The cut at the neck may have cropped them out so the option cannot be totally ruled out. The head does, however, match quite closely a number of Dionysiac sarcophagi from the 3rd c. AD in which the panther turns its gaping head towards the god riding on its back. The best examples of this type are the Badminton sarcophagus in the Metropolitan Museum (fig. 3) and a similar sarcophagus in the Museum Palace Wilhelmshohe. The head is smaller and substantially less well carved than the panthers on those two sarcophagi, and as such matches more closely with a Bacchic sarcophagus currently at the J. Paul Getty Museum (fig. 4). It is probable that it originated from a similar composition and from the roughly the same period, namely the early to mid-3rd century AD.”<BR/>“Sarcophagi featuring Dionysus, or the deceased in the guise of Dionysus, were popular in the Roman world since the at least 1st century AD, though they became more common in the late 2nd and 3rd centuries (McCann 88, 102). Depictions of the god’s triumphant return from India, indicated by a retinue of exotic animals, were used to suggest a dead cultist’s ecstatic rebirth in the afterlife (McCann 89). The richness of the sarcophagus’s decoration, beyond advertising the status of the occupant, was in some sense a reflection of this. The high relief carving and the addition of paint or gilding over translucent marble created a buoyant, otherworldly effect (McCann 101). Tamed panthers, through there association with the East, would have hinted at both the sensual ease and respite from death which the cult promised. As Christianity attempted to assuage many of the same concerns its perhaps unsurprising that many formal and stylistic elements of these sarcophagi would continue to be developed in the early Christian church (McCann 102).”</SPAN><SPAN STYLE="font-family:'Segoe UI';font-size:11pt"><BR/></SPAN></SPAN>", "Dedication" : "Gift of Clarissa Compton Dryden, Class of 1932, MA 1935", "Copyright_Type" : "", "Disp_Obj_Type" : "Roman", "Creation_Place2" : "Italy", "Department" : "Archaeology", "Obj_Name" : "figurine head", "Period" : "Imperial (Roman)", "Style" : "Mediterranean", "Edition" : "", "Curator" : "", "Images": [ { "ImagePath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/images/S.25.CNEA_BMC_pr_2.jpg", "ThumbnailPath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/Thumbnails/S.25.CNEA_BMC_pr_2.jpg", "PreviewPath" : "https://webkiosk.gallerysystems.com/Media/Previews/S.25.CNEA_BMC_pr_2.jpg", "IIIF_URL": "http://iiif.gallerysystems.com/S.25.CNEA_BMC_pr_2.jpg", "IsPrimary" : "1", "_SurrogateID" : "13019", "Image_Type" : "", "Photo_Credit" : "", "Remarks" : "", "View" : "" } , ] }, ] }