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"Bacchus", Sculpture by Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475-1564, Italy)
Bacchus (1497) is a marble sculpture by the Italian High Renaissance sculptor, painter, architect and poet Michelangelo. The statue is somewhat over life-size and depicts Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, in a revolutionary inebriated state. Along with the Pietà it is one of only two sculptures that can be attributed with any certainty to the artist's first period in Rome. Bacchus is depicted with rolling eyes, his staggering body almost teetering off the rocky outcrop on which he stands. Sitting behind him is a faun, who eats the bunch of grapes slipping out of Bacchus's left hand. Michelangelo gave the sculpture a high centre of gravity and reeling pose which, along with the symbolic wreath of vines, gives the impression of drink having 'gone to his head'. Similarly precarious poses can be found in a number of later works by the artist, most notably the David and the figures on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, but the Bacchus was unprecedented, "in brief, it is not the image of a god".