Orpheus Slain By Bacchantes, With A Boy Running Away (1494) by Albrecht Durer

Orpheus Slain By Bacchantes, With A Boy Running Away - Albrecht Durer - 1494

Artwork Information

TitleOrpheus Slain By Bacchantes, With A Boy Running Away
ArtistAlbrecht Durer
Art MovementNorthern Renaissance
Current LocationPrivate Collection

About Orpheus Slain By Bacchantes, With A Boy Running Away

The artwork titled “Orpheus Slain By Bacchantes, With A Boy Running Away” is a creation of the German artist Albrecht Dürer, dated to 1494. This mythological painting, which belongs to the Northern Renaissance art movement, is part of a private collection. The scene captures the moment from Greek myth where Orpheus, famed for his music, is attacked by the Bacchantes, who are followers of Dionysus (Bacchus).

The drawing depicts a vivid and violent scene set in a wooded area. At the center is Orpheus, shown with an expression of agony, falling backwards as he is being attacked by two women who are Bacchantes. One of the women appears to be grabbing Orpheus by his hair, preparing to strike him with a club she holds above her head. Orpheus seems to be pleading or trying to shield himself from the imminent blow. His lyre lies discarded on the ground in the foreground, symbolizing the loss of his musical power.

To the left, there is a small boy depicted in motion, as suggested by his dynamic pose and the flowing drapery. This child seems to be fleeing the scene, indicating the chaos and terror of the event. The background is filled with lush vegetation and trees, enhancing the sense of a wild and untamed setting appropriate for such a mythological narrative. The intricate details and the dramatic intensity of the figures reflect Dürer’s mastery of the medium and his ability to convey narrative through his art.

Other Artwork from Albrecht Durer

More Northern Renaissance Artwork

Scroll to Top