The Invitation to the Dance
Article , Content , Opuscula / 2021-10-21

Opuscula 14 is published with open access. Printed edition distributed by Eddy.se AB. Also available at Amazon.com, Adlibris, and Bokus. View volume at ERIH PLUS. The Invitation to the Dance. An intertextual reassessment By Julia Habetzeder (Uppsala University, Sweden) Abstract With its original manifestation generally dated to c. 150 BC, the Invitation to the Dance is a textbook example of Hellenistic sculpture. But despite much scholarly attention there is still no consensus as to what motif the sculpture group depicts. Inspired by intertextual theory, this study catalogues and re-examines 35 sculptures of the female figure and 34 sculptures of the satyr. The article focuses on preserved sculptures, rather than a reconstructed model image. Variations of the repeated forms are highlighted as significant for the interpretation of the types. The reading of the Invitation to the Dance thus put forward suggests that the group composition displays the moment after the satyr has pulled the female’s garment down from her upper body. It is furthermore emphasized that both satyr and female figure were at times—perhaps even predominately—displayed as solitary figures. The satyr’s foot-clapper is suggested to have been included primarily in instances where the satyr was displayed on his own. Sculptures of the…