The Bacchanal of the Andrians by Titian
|Courtesy of www.renaissanceart.org|
Titian based his painting on an impression recorded by the writer Philostratus in the second century AD after a visit to Naples. Philostratus had observed art that that depicted the Greek Island of Andros. The Greek God Dionysus had created a river of wine on the island. Bacchus is the Roman equivalent of Dionysus.
The image Philostratus described had contained a band of merry people that celebrated on the shores of a river of wine. Titian's painting portrays these followers of Bacchus right before his arrival on the island. His ship is pictured approaching in the background while all await him in joyful inebriation.
Titian's figures are gathered closely together and are classically styled. There is one figure alone on a hillside above the merriment but there appears to be no conflict that has arisen to place him there.The composition suggests a sense of fluid movement which characterizes Titian's work.
The Bacchanal of the Andrians is housed at the Museo del Prado in the Spanish capital of Madrid.