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Document 1195026
 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
JULY 16, 2015 MEDIA CONTACTS:
Amanda Hicks
(312) 443-7297
[email protected]
Nina Litoff
(312) 443-3363
[email protected]
JAHARIS GALLERIES TO FEATURE INNOVATIVE EXHIBITION OF ANCIENT SCULPTURE
AND RENAISSANCE AND BAROQUE PRINTS IN DIONYSOS UNMASKED
An Exploration of 2,000 Years of Creative Expression Inspired by Dionysos
Offers New Insights into the Art of Classical Antiquity and its Revivals
CHICAGO—The Art Institute announces an
innovative collaboration between the
Department of Ancient and Byzantine Art
and the Department of Prints and Drawings
to explore Renaissance and Baroque
printmakers’ direct responses to Classical
antiquity through the figure of Dionysos, the
ancient Greek god of wine and theater.
Dionysos Unmasked, on view from July 31,
2015 to February 15, 2016, in the Mary and
Michael Jaharis Galleries of Greek, Roman,
and Byzantine Art, juxtaposes ancient
sculpture with prints from the 15th through
the 18th century with nearly 100 objects—
pieces from the permanent collection, new loans of ancient art, and recently acquired works on
paper.
Dionysos—known as Bacchus to the Romans—famously cavorted his way through the timeless
tales of Greek and Roman mythology with an entourage of satyrs, the god Pan, and wild maenads
who personified the untamed and self-indulgent desires of humanity unleashed by the intoxicating
powers of wine. Also known and celebrated in early Greek festivals as the patron god of theater,
an aspect of the deity less well known today, Dionysos could take many forms, from a graceful
youth to a bearded mature man.
During the Renaissance and Baroque periods, the time of early printmaking, an interest in
antiquity—especially Dionysos—flourished. Ancient sculptures depicting the god and his raucous
retinue inspired artists to find new ways to transform age-old Dionysian subjects into prints and
drawings that would appeal to their own contemporary audiences. Greek and Roman sculptures
depicting Dionysos and his wild followers, and vessels used in ritual drinking parties and festivals
honoring the god anchor this exhibition. Their featured printed counterparts include masterpieces
from the Italian Renaissance to the French Rococo, including notably Andrea Mantegna’s
Bacchanal with a Wine Vat, a 15th-century Italian engraving with striking visual similarity to the
bronze Statue of Young Dionysos (a current long-term loan to the museum). Bringing together an
extraordinarily rich selection of works, spanning as many as 2,000 years, this exhibition offers
visitors unique insight into the art of Classical antiquity and its later revivals.
RELATED EVENTS
Gallery Talk: Exhibition Overview of Dionysos Unmasked: Ancient Sculpture and Early Prints
August 4, 2015
12:00pm–1:00pm
Meet in Griffin Court
Free with museum admission.
Images: Left: Andrea Mantegna. Bacchanal with a Wine Vat (detail), c. 1470. Bequest of Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.
Right: Statue of Young Dionysos (detail), 100 B.C.–A.D. 100. Anonymous loan.
Sponsors:
Support for this exhibition is generously provided by Shawn M. Donnelley and Christopher M. Kelly and the Jaharis
Family Foundation, Inc.
# # #
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Daily: 10:30–5:00
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Children under 14 always free
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The Art Institute of Chicago gratefully acknowledges the support of the Chicago Park District on behalf of the citizens of Chicago.
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