Ker Xavier Roussel. Triumph of Bacchus, or Mythological Scene, 1911; reworked 1913. Oil on canvas. The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg (cat. no. 64)

Both Triumph of Bacchus and its pendant, Triumph of Ceres (State Pushkin Museum, Moscow), were acquired by Russian collector Ivan Morozov in 1913. The former, a joyous bacchanalian scene, evokes a classical celebration of song and dance with four grand figures carrying baskets of fruit and clanging cymbals while frolicking across the countryside. Apparently, when Ker Xavier Roussel learned that the paintings were to be hung in Morozov’s Moscow mansion alongside an intensely colored work by Henri Matisse, the artist reworked them using a brighter, more intense palette to better fit their surroundings. The result is a brilliant tapestry of hot reds and oranges complemented by jewel-like greens and blues.

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