The front is decorated with ivy-wreathed masks of Dionysos (Bacchus) and Silenos. They are surrounded by the god’s attributes: a leafy staff (thyrsos) and a wine cup (kantharos); a panther’s skin, and fragments of a plucked instrument. Below them, there is rocky terrain – Bacchus is also at home beyond the human world. On the back side of the relief, there are two dancing satyrs wearing panther skins. One holds a circular drum, the other a hunting stick and a hare, with a dog grabbing at it. The relief probably decorated the garden of a Roman villa, signalling the presence of Dionysos.
Marble analyses conducted by Danielle Decrouez (Geneva, Museum of Natural History) and Karl Ramseyer (University of Bern, Institute of Geological Sciences) have shown that the relief was made of Luna (Carrara) marble. Click here for the detailed results.