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The Old Drunkard is a Roman copy of a statue from the Hellenistic period. It can be seen in the Capitoline Museum. Because of the jug of wine and the ivy, as well as the subject’s inebriated state, scholars consider the Old Drunkard a votive offering to the god Dionysus. The Greek original is lost. Scholars have speculated that the original work, because of its style, may have been executed during the late third century BC. This Roman copy is dated to the second century A.D.
The sculpture depicts an older woman, sitting on the ground, holding a jug, a lagynos flask, of wine in her lap. The flask is decorated with an ivy vine pattern. She is dressed in a chiton which would be secured with metal pins, covering her shoulders. In this case, the right pin has slipped off the shoulder, leaving the woman’s upper body exposed. A heavy cloak, which the woman had worn over her chiton, is now on the ground piled up around her. The same clothing was also found in depictions of Aphrodite, the nymphs, and distinguished women of the time. This is or was a woman of means.
There is tension in her body. It is revealed by the collar bone and ribs. The skin is stretched over the skeleton and the underlying muscles, veins and tendons are quite visible. A thick vein runs up her neck directly under the skin and disappears under her chin.
Pierced ears suggest earrings. A headscarf holds her hair out of her face. The head is raised, her mouth slightly open, and her eyes stare off into the distance. Her skin is loose and hangs in folds over her cheeks and jaw. The open mouth exposes two remaining teeth. The woman’s hair is carefully styled, wrapped at the sides and gathered up with a band above the neck. She wears two rings on her left hand.
Craig took this picture for Pro Romanis several years ago on a photographic expedition to Rome. Craig Phares is a photographer, artist, designer, and programmer. He built his first game on a TI-85 calculator when he should have been doing math homework, and has never stopped, creating numerous jaw-dropping digital masterpieces for the web, desktop, and mobile devices. Craig studied sculpture at the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, while constantly improving his design and programming skills on his own time. He went on to work for several advertising agencies, finally leaving to form his own company. Craig is the founder of Six Overground, a progressive digital agency focused on building full-scale digital platforms. His company has produced award-winning work for major brands and corporations including Citigroup, Estée Lauder, Havaianas HBO, Johnson & Johnson, Mars, NFL, U.S. Air Force, and USDA. When he’s not glued to a computer monitor, you’ll find him in the real world, dreaming up the next big thing. To learn more about Craig, visit his website at http://sixoverground.com/about/.