Dionysus and Ampelos
Pierino da Vinci (Vinci 1530 c. – Pisa 1553)
Because of the numerous sixteenth-century additions, this piece can be considered a modern work: only the torso, headless and without arms, preserved up to knee height, is in fact an original piece of ancient production, identified today as a copy of the more famous "Narcissus of Pompeii". Attributed in the 18th century to the hand of Michelangelo, the readaptation of the sculpture is actually the work of Pierino da Vinci, nephew of the more famous Leonardo: he integrated the ancient part as a Dionysus, god of wine and drunkenness, placing alongside him the young Ampelos, his beloved, who, according to the myth, after his premature death was transformed by him into the first vine branch. The work is documented as being located in the Gallery since 1587, and it must have originally been conceived as a decoration for a public fountain, as attested by the hole in the lower part for the exit of the water, even if the absence of corrosion, sedimentation and metal traces suggests that it was never used.
Bronzino. Pittore e poeta alla corte dei Medici, Catalogo della mostra di Firenze, 2010, pp.228-229, n°IV.13 (C. Pizzorusso) e bibliografia precedente.