Bacchus takes Ariadne as his wife
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