Bacchus and Ariadne

size(cm): 45x50
Sale price£150 GBP


The painting Bacchus and Ariadne is a masterpiece by the Italian Renaissance artist Titian. It was painted in oil on canvas around 1520-1523 and is currently in the National Gallery in London.

The painting represents Bacchus, the Roman god of wine and the grape harvest, who is in a chariot drawn by two leopards. In the chariot, Bacchus is accompanied by Ariadne, a Cretan princess who left her home to follow the Greek hero Theseus, but was ultimately abandoned by him on the island of Naxos. Bacchus, who fell in love with Ariadne when he saw her there, decided to make her his wife and elevated her to the rank of goddess.

In the painting, Titian depicts Bacchus as a naked, handsome youth, and Ariadne as a beautiful woman dressed in Roman clothing. On the left is Ariadne in a blue dress. Theseus leaves her behind on an island. You can still see Theseus' ship near the horizon in the center left of the painting. A nearly naked Bacchus jumps from his chariot, which is drawn by two cheetahs.

The work is known for the artist's ability to depict light and shadow, and for the richness of detail in the characters' clothing and accessories.

One interesting thing about the painting is that it was commissioned by the wealthy Italian patron Alfonso I d'Este, Duke of Ferrara, who also commissioned other famous works from artists such as Raphael and Titian.

The work was originally part of a series of mythological paintings commissioned by the duke to decorate his private study in his palace in Ferrara. The series was known as the "poems" and each painting depicted a different mythological story. Bacchus and Ariadne was the first in the series and was commissioned by Titian in 1518.

The work was greatly admired by the artist's contemporaries, and is believed to have influenced other painters of the time. It was also considered one of the most important works in the Duke of Ferrara's collection and was kept in the family for over 200 years before being sold to a British collector and finally acquired by the National Gallery in London in the 19th century.

Bacchus and Ariadne is considered one of the masterpieces of Titian and of the Italian Renaissance in general, and is known for its great impact on later European painting.

Bacchus and Ariadne is ranked no. 30 on the list of famous paintings

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