- Presented to the Canterbury Society of Arts by the Neave family in memory of their brother Kenelm, 1931; given to the Robert McDougall Art Gallery, 1932
- Oil on canvas
- 1170 x 1000 x 65mm
Born in 1695 in Naples or Venice, Jacopo Amigoni worked in Munich from 1719 as a painter at the court of Maximilian II Emanuel, before moving to London to paint for King George II in 1729. A pioneer of the Venetian Rococo style, Amigoni painted this sumptuous mythological scene during his stay in London. It pictures Bacchus, Roman god of wine, leaning in a drunken stupor against Ariadne, the Cretan princess who became his immortal bride, who is warning the putti not to waken him. Amigoni returned to Venice in 1739 after making what was considered a fortune through his painting in London, and spent his later years from 1747 in the court of King Ferdinand VI in Madrid. Patronage for artists such as Amigoni linked to the taste for Italian decorative art and high culture that was prevalent among Europe’s elite.
(Persistent Encounters, March 2020)