Marble relief with a dancing maenad

Adaptation of work attributed to Kallimachos

Early Imperial, Augustan
ca. 27 B.C.–A.D. 14
Marble, Pentelic
H. 56 5/16 in. (143 cm)
Stone Sculpture
Credit Line:
Fletcher Fund, 1935
Accession Number:
  • Description

    Copy of a Greek relief of ca. 425–400 B.C. attributed to Kallimachos

    Maenads were mythical women inspired by the god of wine, Dionysos, to abandon their homes and families and roam the mountains and forests, singing and dancing in a state of ecstatic frenzy. This figure, wearing an ivy wreath and carrying a thyrsos (fennel stalk) bedecked with ivy leaves and berries, moves forward, trancelike, her drapery swirling about her. She was copied from a famous relief of dancing maenads dated to the late fifth century B.C., when Euripides portrayed the manic devotées of Dionysos in his play the Bacchae.

  • References

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1950. The Sculpture and Sculptors of the Greeks, 3rd edn. New Haven: Yale University Press, pp. 243, 563, fig. 638.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1953. Handbook of the Greek Collection. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, pp. 139, 276-77, pls. 116b, 117b.

    Richter, Gisela M. A. 1954. Catalogue of Greek Sculptures. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, no. 58, pp. 39-40, pls. 50, 51a.

    Metropolitan Museum of Art. 1970. Masterpieces of Fifty Centuries. New York: Dutton.

    Robertson, Martin and Cambridge University Press. 1975. A History of Greek Art, Vols. 1 and 2. Cambridge, England, pp. 406, 605, pl. 130b.

    Thimme, Jürgen. 1976. Kunst und Kultur der Kykladeninseln im 3. Jahrtausend v. Chr.: Ausstellung unter d. Patronat des International Council of Museums ICOM im Karlsruher Schloss vom 25. Juni-10. Oktober 1976. Karlsruhe: Müller, no. 50, p. 69 .

    Touchette, Lori-Ann. 1995. The Dancing Maenad Reliefs: Continuity and Change in Roman Copies, Bulletin Supplement, Vol. 62. London: Institute Of Classical Studies, no. 27, pp. 75-76, pl. 20b.

    Picón, Carlos A. 2007. Art of the Classical World in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Greece, Cyprus, Etruria, Rome New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, no. 146, pp. 133, 433.

    Koehl, Robert. 2013. Amilla. The Quest for Excellence. Studies Presented to Guenter Kopcke in Celebration of His 75th Birthday Philadelphia: INSTAP Academic Press, pp. 410, 412, 29.1.

  • See also