Saturday, May 9, 2020

Dionysus with an eastern "twist"

Another Kushan piece illustrating an eastern take on the god Dionysus at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
This mature bearded man has grape leaves in his hair, suggesting that he is Dionysus. The furrowed brow, indications of age, and piercing gaze reflect a taste for naturalism, possibly the result of Hellenistic influence following the conquest of Alexander the Great. The head was buried, and over the centuries a hard crust developed on the surface.

Image: Kushan head of Dionysus, 4th-5th centuries CE, from ancient Gandhara at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
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