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The Joy of Life

Attilio Piccirilli

American, born Italy. 1866 - 1945

Above 48th Street entrance

John D. Rockefeller, the developer of the Center, was a reserved man who advocated temperance, yet this carving portrays the “joy” of life as wine. The main character is Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and revelry, who taught mankind the cultivation of the grape and then winemaking. He is depicted lolling on the ground in the center of the scene, surrounded by a group, and appears narcissistic. Lighthearted and decorative, the colors are as important as the carving, with the gray figures set against a brilliant blue sky.

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