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Bacchanal

A work made of engraving in black on two sheets of ivory laid paper, joined through the center.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on two sheets of ivory laid paper, joined through the center.

Date:

c. 1550

Artist:

Giulio Sanuto
Italian, active 1540-1580

About this artwork

Giulio Sanuto, an idiosyncratic Venetian engraver, reveled in displaying bacchic musical imagery on a large scale. The flutes, panpipes, cymbals, stomping feet, and twisting bodies seen here mark the rowdy procession as quickly degenerating into chaos. The portly and drunken figures with their pendulous quadruple breasts and other anatomical oddities echo the excesses of the paired Bacchanal friezes by Andrea Mantegna (1956.1010 and .1011), while the intertwined poses of the revelers also suggest Antonio Pollaiuolo’s Battle of the Naked Men (1938.260). The darkening tree cover marks their festivities as a truly ancient ceremony to which mortal viewers should not be privy.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Giulio Sanuto

Title

Bacchanal

Origin

Italy

Date

1545–1560

Medium

Engraving in black on two sheets of ivory laid paper, joined through the center

Dimensions

451 × 554 mm (image); 455 × 558 mm (plate); 465 × 574 mm (sheets)

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund

Reference Number

2013.1260

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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