Herm of Dionysus
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This is the first art history class I have taken since I was in high school. I know little about art; especially drawing and painting. However, I have developed an interest in the study of art history, how art evolves from the beginning of human history, and lastly how art can be depicted in different points of view.
Visiting the Getty Villa was my first time to see art in an art museum. I did not know how to appreciate an art piece at first but as I wandered around the museum, I became curious about the art work name â€œHerm of Dionysus.â€
This work dates to the Hellenistic Period. At first, ...view middle of the document...
Once I researched Dionysusâ€™ origins, I questioned the purpose of the pillar. At the start of the 500â€™s B.C.E, Greeks frequently used herms in artwork. Originally, Herms were pillars attached to a head of the god Hermes, and were traditionally placed at physical boundaries such as crossroads or doorways. They had â€œa magical, protective functionâ€ at sacred ritual sites (Getty). However, by the Hellenistic Period, the use of herms was extended to non-religious, decorative purposes as the variety of heads attached to the herms have been diversified to include a number of other gods and well-known mortals.
The herm in the picture is the head of Dionysus, with a headdress made of ribbons, loosely tied or squared column. The body of this piece of art is geometric and simple as it is meant to be a pillar. However, the attachment of the phallus on the pillar illustrates fertility and reproduction, since Dionysus is also known to be the male god of fertility. (Dr. Sellin) In later times, the god Dionysus was also often...