Bacchante (Persephone) [Bronze]

Dublin Core


Bacchante (Persephone) [Bronze]


Figure sculpture, American--20th century


Full-scale bronze of Persephone with green patina. Sculpture sits in the sculpture garden. Depicts a nude woman on her proper left knee with her hands raised at head level. She has long braids.

In Greek mythology, Persephone was the goddess of spring. She was abducted by Hades (known to the Romans as Pluto) and taken to the Underworld to be his wife. Her mother, Demeter (Ceres), the goddess of agriculture, searched the earth for her. Demeter finally found her, but since Persephone had eaten the seed of a pomegranate Hades offered her while in the Underworld, she could not return to the land of the living.
Demeter was so upset she refused to bless the harvest. This left the earth sterile. However, she made a compromise with Hades. Persephone was allowed to spend half of the year with her mother in the upper world and the other half of the year with Hades in the Underworld. The purpose of this myth is to explain the death and regeneration of the earth each year. In one display case you will find the small scale BACCHANTE of 1935. Fredericks enlarged this sculpture in 1972 when Henry Booth, the son of George Gough Booth who was the founder of the Cranbrook Educational Community, expressed interest in placing the sculpture at Cranbrook. Since a Bacchante was a female follower of the Roman wine god Bacchus, this name was not considered appropriate for a public sculpture.

Cast in 1988


Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998




Use of this image requires permission from the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum




University Center (Mich.)

Sculpture Item Type Metadata

Physical Dimensions

52" x 29.5" x 31"


Bronze full-scale

Catalog Number


Object Location

Sculpture garden


From Jennifer Lentz (Collection Documentation Intern 1991-1992)
Memo dated July 30, 1991:

"RE: Bacchante and Persephone

On July 26, 1991 Molly told me that she had changed the original date of Bacchante from 1938 to 1935 in her records. She also said that Henry Booth (George's son) wanted it enlarged and placed at Cranbrook. Since a Bacchante is a female follower of the Roman wine god Bacchus, this name was not considers appropriate. Thus, when Fredericks enlarged Bacchante and placed it at the Cranbrook Greek Theater in 1972 he changed the name to Persephone."




Fredericks, Marshall M., 1908-1998, “Bacchante (Persephone) [Bronze],” Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum, accessed June 23, 2024,