A mask of Dionysos is the decorative feature on this lovely bronze oil lamp.
bronze oil lamp with mask of Dionysos
- Length: 16cm
Dionysos, son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, was the god of the vine and wine, liquid life, fertility and rebirth in nature. From his complex cult and ritual emerged Greek drama.
He was the only god to be born of a mortal mother, and he was one of the few who went to bring a dead soul back from the underworld - he brought Semele back with him to Mount Olympos.
Jealous Hera had tricked Zeus into causing Semele's death, but Zeus delivered the prematurely born Dionysos and stitched him into his thigh, from which he was born again at full term. Hera continued her campaign of revenge against the baby Dionysos, and arranged for him to be dismembered by the Titans, but Rhea, mother of Zeus, put him back together, and brought him back to life.
Dionysos rescued Ariadne on the island of Naxos, after she had been abandoned by Theseus, after she'd helped him to kill the Minotaur. They married and had several children. Dionysos would look after his half-brother Apollo's sanctuary in Delphi whenever Apollo left to spend time with the Hyperboreans.
The focal point of the Dionysia, the spring festival held in Athens in his honour, became the performances, in competition, of comedies, tragedies and satyr plays. These took place in the Theatre of Dionysos on the slopes of the Akropolis. One of those tragedies was Euripides' Bacchae, which explores the complexity and duality of this elemental and multi-faceted god.
He is often represented wearing vine leaves, even grapes, around his head. He is often accompanied by his followers, the female Maenads, and the hybrid Satyrs. He wears an animal skin cloak, and often carries a thyrsos and his signature wine-drinking vessel, the kantharos.
The bronze pieces are cast in Greece using the traditional lost wax method. As nothing is mass-produced, there will inevitably be slight variations in texture, patina, and colour. No two pieces are ever the same. If mounted on a marble base, it will be a black or very dark grey base. There may be a variation of some millimetres in the dimensions of the base from time to time.
It's All Greek is proud to have been working with the Semitekolo family foundry since 1999. It has been a privilege to handle these gorgeous pieces and to sell them to customers all over the world.