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Abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos, Ariadne is discovered by the wine-god Bacchus, who falls in love with her and marries her. The winged figure in the clouds is Hymen, god of marriage. Theseus’s ship is in the distance. Amigoni painted a larger version for his friend, the great castrato opera singer, Farinelli. Our picture appears to be the prime version as it contains corrections (‘pentimenti’) to the line of Bacchus’s cloak, which have become visible with time.

Details

  • Title: Bacchus and Ariadne
  • Creator: Jacopo Amigoni
  • Date Created: circa 1740-circa 1742
  • Physical Dimensions: 51.0 x 61.3 cm stretcher; 65.0 x 75.5 x 6.0 cm frame
  • Provenance: Joseph Franz Anton Graf von Walburg-Zeil-Wurzbach, pre 23 May 1806, Vienna/Austria, Possibly AGNSW work. Joseph Franz Anton Graf von Walburg-Zeil-Wurzbach, Vienna, exhibited by him for sale by private contract, Truchsessian Gallery London, 14 May 1804 ff., no. 858 (Bacchus and Ariadne 1'5" x 2' / 43.2 x 61cm), unsold, and his (anon., 'Truchessian Gallery') sale, Skinner and Dyke, London 22-23 May 1806, 2nd day, lot no. 187. C.P. Drinkwater, pre 1984, purchased by Agnew's 1984 Agnew's, London, 1984-30 Jul 1985, London/England, Purchased by Agnew's from C.P. Drinkwater 1984. Sold to James Fairfax, 30 July 1985. Purchased by Fairfax from the exhibition 'Venetian eighteenth century painting' 5 June - 19 July 1985, cat.no. 2 James Oswald Fairfax AC, 30 Jul 1985-31 Aug 1993, Bowral/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of James Fairfax 1993. Purchased by James Fairfax from Agnew's, 30 July 1985. Purchased from the exhibition 'Venetian eighteenth century painting' 5 June - 19 July 1985, cat.no. 2
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gift of James Fairfax AC 1993
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Not dated.
  • Artist Country: Italy

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