Musée Saint-Raymond
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Altar


© J.-F. Peiré
© J.-F. Peiré

This monument is an altar. It was used for sacrificial offerings to a divinity during which the offerings where placed here and then burned.
A garland of fruits and ears of wheat is supported by two ribbons decorating each side of the alter and is linked at the angles with faces.
On one side of the altar, two heads are depicted, one of a bearded Silenus and one of a beardless Satyr. These creatures are half-animal as proven by their long pointed ears. These beings belong to the cortege of Dionysus, the god of wine and debauchery, Bacchus in the Roman religion. On the other side of the altar, we can see an elderly man whose beard is styled with a theater wig and a young beardless man whose hair is pulled back in a headband. Their pierced pupils make them more lifelike. These masks remind us that Dionysus created Greek theater. This style of sculptures is also witnessed in the masks decorating the large mausoleum at Glanum in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence.


Autel sculpté découvert au chevet de la cathédrale Saint-étienne © J.-F. Peiré
Autel sculpté découvert au chevet de la cathédrale Saint-étienne © J.-F. Peiré

Sculpted altar discovered in the apse of the cathedral Saint-Étienne (Toulouse).
Limestone. First century before or after Common Era.
Inv. Ra 8.

Lu 451 fois

Tolosa's gold age | Chiragan | Necropolis