Renaissance oil on canvas of Bacchus

Circa 1550 - 1600
Possibly Florence, Italy

W 23" (frame 39 1/2") × H 28 1/2" (frame 44 1/4")

Stock # Marh2593

POA

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The portrait at present depicts the god of wine, Bacchus, painted oil on canvas and set within a bold gilt frame. The artist of the work is presently unknown, however, it can be derived from the artistic style and technique that it is by a Florentine school, and can be dated to the 16th century. With a label on the reverse inscribed ‘Circolo Artistico - Trieste, Estinzione d'Arte Antica’, followed by the name of the owner & address: Fiora Musner Via Cesare Battisti, 18, Trieste, Italy. Bacchus is presented in youth, holding an apple in his right hand and a wreath of vine leaves on his head. The half-portrait captures Bacchus in a moment of contortion, as he turns towards the right-hand side of the picture frame, his eyes softly gazing as his body follows in a twisting motion. Whilst his left-hand points toward the floor in the opposite direction, creating an almost pyramidal in composition, compact yet dynamic. It may be noted that these are usually key elements in amongst the paintings of the Florentine Renaissance. There is a real sense of textual variety and richness to the portrait, as the sitter is draped in a rich fold-structure of red material, layered on top of animal fur and a white robe. His gold curly locks are highlighted by the light and the artist has positioned Bacchus before a background of blue sky with clouds. Renaissance tones of reds, greens, and blues are present throughout and contrast against his pale ivory skin. The richness of the blue sky as a falling backdrop feels reminiscent of a sky formed by Tintoretto, with his inspiration coming from those Venetian blues. Though the direct influence may be unknown, it is clear that this aspect offers a dramatic and theatrical portrayal of the god.

Renaissance works of art