Bacchus, the ancient god of wine, is returning in triumph from India to Greece; this is suggested by the panther and the god’s dark-skinned companions. In this picture, probably painted just after Heemskerck’s stay in Rome, his style of painting people, inspired by Roman Mannerism, reached a first peak of expression. Heemskerck creates a wishful image of the humanistically informed 16th century in a combination of extraordinary, humorous and coarsely drastic elements with the smoothly polished nudity of antiquity.
56 cm x 106,6 cm x 3,4 cm
Framed: 68 cm x 118 cm x 6,5 cm; Tiefe inkl.
Inscribed at lower left at the base of the colossal foot: Martinus Hemskerkius pingebat
Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie
Coll. Leopold Wilhelm
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