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20 North Main St (also enter on 224 Benefit Street) Providence, RI 02903

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Art & Design

Unknown artist, Roman
Floor mosaic fragment depicting Bacchus, 325-330
Limestone tesserae
117.5 x 117.5 cm (46 1/4 x 46 1/4 inches)
Museum Collection, by exchange 40.195

On View

Roman

Floor mosaic fragment depicting Bacchus

Unknown artist, Roman
Floor mosaic fragment depicting Bacchus, 325-330
Limestone tesserae
117.5 x 117.5 cm (46 1/4 x 46 1/4 inches)
Museum Collection, by exchange 40.195

The conical headdress, the panther skin, and the vine leaves intertwined in the long hair identify this figure as the Roman wine god Bacchus. It was once the central figure of a larger floor mosaic in the entrance hall of a luxurious Roman villa. Similarly framed images of his followers would have been turned toward Bacchus, who faced the entrance and perpetually welcomed guests to the house. This vivid mosaic was made by setting small pieces of colored stone into mortar. A Constantinian coin, minted sometime in the years 325 to 330 CE and found beneath the pavement at the original site, provided the dating for the mosaic.


Other Mosaics