A monumental marble torso of Dionysos is on loan to the Getty Museum as a highlight of a special installation celebrating the ancient Greek and Roman marble and bronze sculptures from the Santa Barbara Museum of Art’s collection.
Discovered in Italy in the mid-18th century, the torso was recognized as the god of wine by the skin stretched tautly across its chest. In the mid-20th century, the torso came to adorn the garden of Montecito, California collector Wright S. Ludington.
The sculpture joins a selection of other Roman copies of famous Greek originals. These heads and figures of heroes, athletes, gods, and goddesses include Achilles, Aphrodite, Apollo, and Athena. Also on view is an over-life-size Roman statue of the god Hermes (or Mercury), which has undergone extensive conservation work at the Getty Villa.
The works in this exhibition are on long-term loan while the Santa Barbara Museum of Art is being renovated.