Drinks throughout art history5th April, 2013 by db_staff
4. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s Bacchus 1595
Bacchus, Roman god of wine and ecstatic parties, is depicted by Caravaggio as a youthful, blushing boy. Proffering a glass of wine to the viewer we are invited into an un-godly scene.
Decaying fruit and wilting flowers decorate a strangely androgynous teenager scantily clad in his bed sheet. Caravaggio made no attempt to uphold the purported godly illusion; the ripples in the wine held out by the boy suggest the tremble of his hand and he has dirt under his fingernails. During a recent restoration beneath decades of dirt, a small reflection in the carafe was discovered, believed to be a self-portrait by the artist.