Ivory decorative plaque

Period: Archaic

Date: 2nd half of 7th century B.C.

Culture: Greek

Medium: Ivory

Dimensions: Overall: 5 3/8 x 2 3/4 x 5/8 in. (13.6 x 7 x 1.6 cm)

Classifications: Miscellaneous-Bone, Ivory

Credit Line: Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, 1917

Accession Number: 17.190.73


This plaque illustrates a mythological subject related to the advent of the god Dionysos in Greece. Because the two daughters of King Proitos of Argos refused to recognize his divinity, they were driven mad and committed violent and unseemly acts until they were healed by the seer Melampos. Here, in their madness, they have unpinned their clothes and stand partially naked.