The lines are drawn, the orders are in,
The Dance Commander’s ready to sin.
Radio message from HQ;
Dance Commander, we love you.
—Electric Six, Dance Commander
The Dancing Faun was discovered on October 26, 1830 in the ruins of the most opulent Roman home discovered at Pompeii: the House of the Faun, as it later became known, which was also home to the Alexander Mosaic. The Faun is thought to be either a 2nd-century Greek original, or a very high-quality Roman copy.
Upon its discovery, as Francis Haskell and Nicholas Penny write in Taste and the Antique, “The fame of this small bronze was instantaneous … its first cataloger described it as the finest bronze to have been excavated at Pompeii and compared it to the Barberini Faun.”
Its small size made it ideal for reproduction and for decorating gardens and drawing rooms. Victorians raved about the Faun, no doubt with assurances like that from the Naples museum, which advised that “the Faun was ecstatic and not in the intoxicated condition of various other bronze Fauns from Herculaneum and Pompeii…”
“Ecstatic,” indeed. All that’s missing from the original work are glowsticks and a phat electronic beat.
I laser scanned a 19th-century plaster cast of the Faun at the Skulpturhalle Basel museum. His hair needed some digital resculpting to restore loss of detail in the plaster and to restore two broken fingers on his left hand.
I’m going to use this data to cast a 1:1 copy in bronze, the first of its kind. It’ll be for sale; if you know anyone who might be interested, please send them my way. Glowsticks optional.
Click here to download the 3D-printable files: thingiverse.com/thing:196048