Bacchus and Ariadne (1523-24) by Titian

Bacchus and Ariadne - Titian - 1523-24 - 2

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Artwork Information

TitleBacchus and Ariadne
Date1520 - 1523
MediumOil on Canvas
Dimensions176.5 x 191 cm
Art MovementHigh Renaissance
Current LocationNational Gallery, London
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About Bacchus and Ariadne

Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne is one of the paintings from his series based for the Duke of Ferrara, forming an important chapter in the history of Italian Renaissance art. The masterpiece was produced in 1523-24, and depicts the subject of a familiar story taken from Ovid’s Metamorphosis – that of Bacchus and Ariadne.

The painting showcases Titian’s control and richness of colour and provides a vivid representation of the diverse characters set against an idyllic landscape. Depicting figures steeped in the luxuriant revelry associated with Bacchalia, it contains a procession of nymphs escorting Ariadne on her bridal chariot, headed by a group engaged in drunken revelry and further animated by a splendid array of similar characters dispersing within the landscape.

Overall, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne is an exceptional example showcasing an mastery-level command over brushwork techniques, combining classicism with naturalism to create an almost tangible world colored with life and passion. Continuing that artistic journey forward is Tintoretto’s famous masterpiece “The Deliverance Of Arsinoe”, created around 1560 which depicts a battle between two groups across land, water bodies as well as through clouds in captivating grandiosity.

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