3. Subjects from the Mythology of Dionysus.
The artist's ideal of Dionysus was embodied in a bronze statue, which stood at Elis (Paus. 6.26.1
), and which is described by Callistratus (Ecphr.
It represented the god as a charming youth, clad with ivy, girt with a Faun's skin, carrying the lyre and the thyrsus.
He also treated the subject in a famous bronze group, in which Dionysus was represented as attended by Intoxication and a Satyr (Plin. Nat. 34.8. s. 19.10
: Liberum Patrem et Ebrietatem nobilewmque una Satyrum, quem Graeci Periboeton nominant
According to these words of Pliny, the celebrated statue of a satyr, which Praxiteles, as above related, ranked among his best works, was the figure in this group.
This may, however, be one of Pliny's numerous mistakes, for it seems, from Pausanias's account of this satyr, that it stood alone in the street of the tripods at Athens (Paus. 1.20.1
; Ath. xiii. p. 591b.; Heyne, Antiq. Aufsätze,
vol. ii. p. 63).
It is generally supposed that we have copies of this celebrated work in several marble statues representing a satyr resting against the trunk of a tree, the best specimen of which is that in the Uapitoline Museum (Mus. Cap.
3.32; Mus. Franç.
ii. pl. 12; Mus. Pio-Clem.
2.30; Müller, Arch. d. Kunst,
§ 127, n. 2, Denkmäler,
vol. i. pl. xxxv. n. 143). Another satyr, of Parian marble, was at Megara. (Paus. 1.43. s. 5
.) Groups of Maenades, Thyiades, and dancing Caryatides are mentioned by Pliny among the marble works of Praxiteles; and also some Sileni in the collection of Asinius Pollio. (Plin. Nat. 36.5. s. 4.5
; Aemilian. Ep. 2, apud Brunck, Anal.
vol. ii. p. 275, Anth. Pal.
9.756; Böttiger, Amalth.
vol. iii. p. 147; Müller, Archäol. l.c.
) Among other works of this class, for which the reader is referred to Müller (l.c.
) and Sillig (s. v.
), the only one requiring special mention is the marble group of Hermes carrying the infant Dionysus, of which copies are supposed to exist in a bas-relief and a vase-painting. (Paus. 5.17
. I; Müller, Arch. d. Kunst, l.c.