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- Date of production 19th century (original: 1st century AD)
- Dimensions height: 139 cm
- ID no. Rz 11
- Availability Main building of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków
- Object copyright Museum of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków
- Digital images copyright public domain
- Digitalisation RDW MIC, Virtual Małopolska project
The plaster cast, located in the corridor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, represents a dancing satyr, playing on small plates similar to castanets and tapping out a rhythm on the scabellum (Gr. κρουπέζιον, pronunciation: krupézion, Latin scabellum): a type of percussive instrument in the form of a sandal made of wood with a double, movable sole fitted with small plates.more
The plaster cast, located in the corridor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, represents a dancing satyr, playing on small plates similar to castanets and tapping out a rhythm on the scabellum (Gr. κρουπέζιον, pronunciation: krupézion, Latin scabellum): a type of percussive instrument in the form of a sandal made of wood with a double, movable sole fitted with small plates.
The plaster cast from the collection of the Academy of Fine Arts is probably a copy made from a cast purchased at an earlier date to meet the school’s needs. Perhaps, it was the statue purchased by the Jagiellonian University from the Academy of Fine Arts in 1908, or another one acquired by the University of Technology in 1948.
The theme of a dance was introduced into Greek sculpture by the students of Lysippos of Sicyon (4th century BC). In the late Hellenistic period, full-figure sculptural representations of dancing satyrs became popular. The motif itself has a much older genesis, but it was used differently at that time: it had already appeared in vase paintings during the classical period (5th century BC). During the Hellenistic period, a significant difference may be observed in the way satyrs are represented. In the 5th century art, these inhabitants of forests were mostly shown as hideous, animal-like beings, often on goat legs (except for the satyrs depicted in sculptural decorations of the Parthenon in Athens), and, in later art, they adopted more human characteristics, often taking the form of beautiful young men. There are several known Hellenistic, statuary executions of the theme of a dancing satyr. These are mostly Roman copies of Greek sculptures: A satyr dancing on one leg (Naples, Museo Nationale), Satyr Borgese (Rome, Villa Albani), Satyr from the House of the Faun in Pompeii (Naples, Museo Nazionale) and Dancing satyr (Florence, Galleria degli Uffizi).
The present plaster cast is a copy of the last one mentioned. This sculpture is dated to the 2nd or 1st century BC and is commonly associated with the statue of the Nymph sitting on a rock (Basel, Antikenmuseum). Together, both statues form the so-called group The Invitation to the Dance. The name reflects the nature of the representation: a satyr, dancing and beating out a rhythm, encouraging the nymph to join in with his gambolling. The combination of both sculptures seems convincing, because such scenes of a nymph being tempted by a satyr occur on various numismatic and glyphic monuments. Both statues are Roman marble copies of Hellenistic bronze sculptures.
Elaborated by Adam Spodaryk (Editorial team of Małopolska’s Virtual Museums),
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Poland License.