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Archeological Object

Panel showing initiation scene of Ariadne (153652)

Panel showing initiation scene of Ariadne (153652)

Found as isolated material together with another panel in the Naples Archaeological Museum which is identical in terms of theme and size (inv. 153651), the panel displays extremely high quality craftsmanship. It might have been an ornament for decorating a wall or, much more probably, a piece of wooden furniture, instead of the more common ivory inlays. The theme of the panel is the initiation of Ariadne to the Dionysian mysteries, a theme for which there is evidence in various frescoes. The scene takes place in a rural setting among vines and bay trees with two thin smooth columns on the right. To the left is the half-naked figure of Dionysus with a himation which is pleated at the sides and goes down to his feet. He has a thyrsus on his right shoulder and wears a wreath of leaves and vine leaves on his head. He leans his left arm on a small column while his right arm is raised in arch to his head. To the left, there is a kalyx-krater on the ground. At the centre is a figure, part of which is missing, of a Satyr flanked by two flying cupids; the one on the left with a basket and cornucopia while the one on the right, partly missing, moves to the right towards Ariadne, half-naked lying on cushions, who brings her right hand to her head. Panels in cameo glass such as this one are extremely rare, if not unique; it was probably made by the same workshop that produced such masterpieces as the famous “Blue vase” (inv. 13521) in the Archaeological Museum of Naples or the so-called "Portland vase" in the British Museum. They were produced by soldering together two sheets of glass - the sheets were made by pouring molten glass into moulds - after laying one on top of another and putting them into a furnace. The upper sheet would then be engraved. It is interesting to note that the panel showed traces of wear and ancient restoration when it was discovered.

Further information
Codici (Label is not translated)
  Ente_competente: Soprintendenza per i Beni Archeologici delle Province di Napoli e Caserta
  SGTI: apparizione di Dioniso ad Arianna addormentata
Localizzazione_geografico-amministrativa (Label is not translated)
  PVCS: Italia
  regione: CAMPANIA
  provincia: Napoli
  comune: Napoli
  LDCT: palazzo
  Name: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  Indirizzo: Piazza Museo, 19 - 80135
  LDCM: Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli
  Location: First floor, Room LXXXIX, display case 2, no. 10
Dati_patrimoniali (Label is not translated)
  Inventory number: 153652
  INVD: 1863 post
Dati_tecnici (Label is not translated)
  MISU: cm.
  Height: 25.2
  Length: 40
  Thickness: 0.9
Dati_analitici (Label is not translated)
  Inscriptions - text:

Condizione_giuridica_e_vincoli (Label is not translated)
  CDGG: proprietà Stato
Fonti_e_documenti_di_riferimento (Label is not translated)

Maiuri 1961, p. 20-21, fig. 1; Glas der Caesaren 1988, n. 32a, pp. 70-73 e bibliografia; Vetri dei Cesari 1988, n. 32b, pp. 70-73 e bibliografia; Collezioni Museo 1989, I, 1, n. 50, pp. 226-227; Zevi 1991b, II, p. 312; De Caro 1994, p. 268; Vésuve 1995, n. 56a, pp. 166-167; Vulkan 1995, n. 56b, pp. 166-167; De Caro 1999, pp. 108 e 110; De Caro 2001b, p. 19.