Bacchus (1638-40) by Peter Paul Rubens

Bacchus - Peter Paul Rubens - 1638-40

Artwork Information

ArtistPeter Paul Rubens
MediumOil on Canvas, transferred from panel
Dimensions75 x 63 1/2 in. (191 x 161.3 cm)
Current LocationHermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia

About Bacchus

Bacchus by Peter Paul Rubens is an 1638-1640 oil painting that is now located in the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg. Its original panel support was replaced with canvas in 1891 by A. Sidorov and there is also an autograph copy at the Uffizi in Florence. This oil painting portrays Bacchus as a young man enthroned amidst a group of followers from Ancient Rome, possibly from a procession celebrating his festival of dies baccalis.

The Elevation of the Cross altarpiece is another masterpiece of Baroque painting by the Flemish painter Peter Paul Rubens. It was originally installed on the high altar of the Church of St. Walburga in Antwerp, which has since been destroyed, and it currently resides in Cathedral of Our Lady in Antwerp. This monumental triptych combines religious sensibility with long forgotten classical phantasms as Christ is being elevated to receive eternal life on Golgotha hill.

Moving on to another work by Rubens, Andromeda, painted circa 1638, portrays the chained princess Andromeda waiting to be sacrificed to a sea monster sent to ravage Ethiopia as punishment for an ancestor’s sins. The main figure stands firmly amongst dramatic rock formations depicting her loyalty and strength throughout her plight, backed further by rocky figures tumbling downwards like waves symbolizing powerful divinity holding her captive story for centuries to come.

No doubt, Peter Paul Rubens’ artwork completely captures our imagination and leaves us awe stuck due to its masterful workmanship and unique style of combining religious topics with classical phantasms . His artworks are simply remarkable examples of Baroque era paintings that continue to inspire over centuries.

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