Prankster Bacchus by Guido Reni

Prankster Bacchus by Guido Reni

Painting by the master of the Bologna academic school of painting by Guido Reni “Prankster Bacchus”. The size of the painting is 72 x 56 cm, oil on canvas. In Rome, the cult of Bacchus – or, as it was previously called, Liber, identified with the old Italian Liber-Pater, – was borrowed from the South Italian Greeks, along with the cult of Demeter and Persephone.

In 496 BC, a common temple was built for all three deities and an annual holiday was set up in March – Liberalia. Only much later was introduced the Greek mystical ministry to Bacchus, which here soon assumed the character

of extreme licentiousness and immorality.

Earlier works of art represent Bacchus as a man already in adulthood, a magnificent posture, with long hair and a beard, in long clothes, with a bandage on his head and a cup or a bunch of grapes in his hand. Later art depicted Bacchus as a young man or teenager, of a soft, tender build, completely naked or covered with deerskin and in hunting cottages. On the head of Bacchus there is a bandage and a wreath, in his hand is a tirs.

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