- Reference number
- Roman workshop
- The Dance of the Maenads
- 141 cm x 79 cm x 13 cm
- Ancient Art
- On display
- Colección Real (Madrid, Alcázar, Col. Carlos III).
The four reliefs of Bacchantes (E00042, E00043, E00045 y E00046) are Roman copies of Greek originals made in Athens in the late fifth-century B.C. to adorn a monument to Dionysius, or related with theatrical activity under his patronage.
The reliefs show Dionysus’s followers who, on account of their unrestrained dance, were called Maenads. Wearing almost transparent dresses and their jewels, they might represent women who took part in rites under the appearance of mythical Maenads.
Copied many times on marble plaques and vessels, the original reliefs are traditionally attributed to Callimachus (ca. 410-400 B.C.), whom Vitruvius credits with the invention of the Corinthian capital. This sculptor was famous for his works' perfect finishes.