Help us bring life to art, and art to lives. Make a donation.

close_button
Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Bacchus and Ariadne

Artist:
Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice)
Date:
1720s
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
46 x 50 1/2 in. (116.8 x 128.3 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Victor Thaw, 1984
Accession Number:
1984.458
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 619
When Bacchus arrived on the island of Naxos, he found the beautiful daughter of Minos, Ariadne, who had been abandoned by Theseus. Bacchus married her and her crown was transformed into a constellation by Jupiter. In the present picture Bacchus, wearing vine leaves in his hair, places a ring on Ariadne's finger. The subject was treated by Pellegrini a number of times. The present picture may date from after 1721, following Pellegrini's return to Venice and his extensive work in England, Düsseldorf, the Low Countries, and Paris.
[Hazlitt Gallery, London, in 1963]; [E. V. Thaw, New York, by 1970–84]
London. Hazlitt Gallery. "Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Paintings," May 14–June 22, 1963, no. 15.

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Italian Paintings. Exh. cat., Hazlitt Gallery. [London], 1963, p. 6, no. 15, pl. 8a, notes that Ferdinando Bologna suggests comparing the style to that of "Hercules and the Hesperides" (Schönborn Castle, Pommersfelden) of 1724.

"Gaiety in Italian Art." Country Life 133 (May 16, 1963), p. 1132, ill.

Keith Christiansen in The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1984–1985. New York, 1985, p. 27, ill., calls it probably a late work, painted after Pellegrini's return to Venice in 1730.

George Knox. Antonio Pellegrini, 1675–1741. Oxford, 1995, p. 248, no. P.303, incorrectly identifies it with a work sold at Sotheby's in 1978.



Pellegrini treated the subject a number of times throughout his career. A somewhat similar composition, probably earlier in date, is in the Sartori collection, Bari (see Egidio Martini, La pittura veneziana del Settecento, 1964, pl. 39). The present picture is likely to date after 1721.

A smaller (28 1/4 x 46 in.) version of this subject by Pellegrini was sold at Sotheby's, London, on April 12, 1978, no. 253.
Related Objects

The Annunciation

Artist: attributed to Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice) Date: 1675–1741 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over graphite or lead. Framing outlines with scalloped top border in brush and brown wash Accession: 60.55.5 On view in:Not on view

The Head of Pompey Presented to Julius Caesar (recto); Study for an Elaborate Door Frame (verso)

Artist: Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice) Date: 1675–1741 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over red and black chalk; traces of white chalk at upper right edge (recto); pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over black chalk; and another black chalk sketch (verso) Accession: 61.210 On view in:Not on view

Virgin Standing on Clouds Holding a Scapular in Her Left Hand

Artist: attributed to Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice) Date: 1675–1741 Medium: Pen and brown ink, brush and gray wash, over black chalk Accession: 1975.131.43 On view in:Not on view

Design for a Ceiling: The Four Parts of the World

Artist: Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice) Date: 1725 Medium: Brush and gray wash over graphite or lead. Framing lines in pen and black ink. Four sections of paper, two center parts joined together Accession: 59.208.107 On view in:Not on view

The Last Supper

Artist: Giovanni Antonio Pellegrini (Italian, Venice 1675–1741 Venice) Date: ca. 1705 Medium: Pen and brown ink, wash Accession: 1975.1.392 On view in:Not on view