Pieter Paul Rubens

Bacchus

Bacchus
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Pieter Paul Rubens
Painting, Oil on canvas, 191x161.3 cm
Origin: Flanders, Between 1638 and 1640

Bacchanalia was a favourite theme in Rubens's work, although Bacchus himself was rarely the subject of his paintings. He saw the subject as reflecting the essence of life as a circle of life and death. Dionysius or Bacchus - son of Zeus and the Theban Queen Semele - god of the vine and winemaking and patron of the forces of growth in nature, was one of the most important and most respected gods in the Graeco-Roman pantheon. Unlike traditional representations of Bacchus as a slim youth with a handsome face, Rubens showed him as a corpulent, flaccid reveller. Seated on a wine-barrel as if on a throne, one leg resting on a tiger, Bacchus looks both repulsive and majestic. Bacchus was conceived by the artist as the apotheosis of earth's fruitfulness and the beauty of man and his natural instincts. In terms of painting technique, Bacchus is one of the pearls of the Hermitage collection. Using a refined scale of colour gradations, Rubens achieved an effect of depth and a close link between the figures and the landscape, as well as a clear tangibility of form and a vibrant warmth in the human bodies.

Personage: Bacchus
Style: Baroque
Source of entry: Crozat Collection, Paris, 1772
Theme: Classical Religion and Mythology
Exibition: Flemish Art: 17th century

See also

Peter Paul Rubens - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peter Paul Rubens (Jay 30, 1640) was a prolific seventeenth- century Flemish Baroque painter, and a proponent of an exuberant ...
WebMuseum: Rubens, Peter Paul
Provides the artist's biography and a collection of images.
Peter Paul Rubens Online
Peter Paul Rubens [Flemish Baroque Era Painter, 1577-1640] Guide to pictures of works by Peter Paul Rubens in art museum sites and image archives worldwide.
Houses of Pieter Paul Rubens
Houses of Pieter Paul Rubens. Rubens built his house in Antwerp during the years 1610-15. This large house served as both home and workshop. ...

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