Michelangelo's reflections on Bacchus

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This essay offers a new reading of Michelangelo's "Bacchus" in the light of reconsidered documents, such as the artist's biographies, descriptions of the statue as seen in Rome, and drawings, as well as visual and literary sources, both classical and Renaissance, that might have been available to the sculptor. Meant to substitute an antique statue, Michelangelo's Bacchus provokes comparing images of the god of wine in ancient texts and works of art with the conceptions of this deity prevalent in the sculptor's ambiance. The inclusion of a panisc points to the dormant bestial forces that since early Christianity had been taught to be repressed in humans. The statue appears simultaneously ancient and modern, with its pagan figures addressing themselves to a Christian beholder.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalArtibus et Historiae
StatePublished - 2003


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