Bacchus and Ariadne - by Titian
|Courtesy of www.renaissanceart.org|
The painting depicts Ariadne just after she has been abandoned by her lover Theseus on the island of Naxos. Her arm is outstretched in the direction of his ship departing in the background. Bacchus arrives on a coach drawn by two cheetahs. He is followed by the many revelers that accompany him as the God of wine and unrestrained madness.
Bacchus is portrayed as instantly lovestruck by Ariadne. Her face and body language display trepidation at sight of Bacchus' band of merry yet fearsome travelers. Bacchus throws his body towards her. Above the figures in the sky is a constellation that Bacchus creates for Ariadne after throwing her crown into the sky. One of Titian's frequently portrayed animals, a King Charles spaniel, barks at the approaching hoard that is led by a satyr.
Titian painted Bacchus and Ariadne with oil paints on canvas. Unfortunately the painting was stored improperly in its first century. Extensive restoration has been attempted, but some nuances in glaze and color have been lost. The painting is housed at the National Gallery in London.