(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.
|Source of entry: Crozat Collection, Paris, 1772|
|Theme: Classical Religion and Mythology|
|Exibition: Flemish Art: 17th century|
Unless otherwise noted, images this web site may be used for any purpose without prior permission.
Any material in the public domain found on this web site is not protected by copyright.
We make no representations or warranties with respect to ownership of copyrights in the images, and do not represent others who may claim to be authors or owners of copyright of any of the images, and make no warranties as to the quality of the images.
We shall not be responsible for any loss or expenses resulting from the use of the images, and you release and hold us harmless from all liability arising from such use.
We do not sell art prints, framed posters or reproductions. Ads are shown only to compensate the hosting expenses.