Bacchus takes Ariadne as his wife

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Bacchus takes Ariadne as his wife
Although it is included in the Story of Theseus series, this ninth tapestry is not related to the story of the Athenian hero and centres instead on the marriage of Dionysus and Ariadne. This is the beginning of another mythological cycle in which Theseus has no role. However, both the design of the tapestry and its border, which is identical to the rest of series, are related closely to the other tapestries.

Ariadne becomes a goddess

According to Hesiod, with whom most classical sources agree, Dionysus-Bacchus took Ariadne as his wife when Theseus had abandoned her on the island of Naxos. They had a child, Oenopion, the personification of wine, and she was later accepted amongst the gods of Mount Olympus.


The Triumph of Bacchus

The relationship between the god of wine and Ariadne was represented frequently by Renaissance and Baroque artists, most notably the scene known as The Triumph of Bacchus, in which the god appears on a chariot accompanied by a frenzied cortège. The tapestry depicts a previous episode, the moment of their marriage, when Dionysus-Bacchus takes the hand of his wife, who will be crowned with a diadem. However, the chariot, prefiguring the triumph, is already visible here.


Inspired by Rubens

The painter Anthonis Sallaert owes much to the cartoons of Rubens for The Triumph of the Eucharist, and in this case he focused particularly on the so-called Triumph of the Church (the tapestry of which is in the Monastery of the Descalzas Reales, Madrid), from which he copied the wheel of the chariot.


Series Story of Theseus

Ninth tapestry in the series

Model Anthonis Sallaert

Manufacture Jan Raes the Younger, Brussels, c. 1630

Fabric Silk and wool

Size 392 x 452 cm

Location Royal Palace of El Pardo

Origin Collection of Philip IV

On display Upper Gallery, Patio de las Austrias



MAZ



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