Drinks throughout art history

4. Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio’s Bacchus 1595

copy_michelangelo_caravaggio_4_bacchus_1595Bacchus, 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.

One Response to “Drinks throughout art history”

  1. john szabo says:

    See Jean François de Troy’s 1735 paiting Le Déjeuner d’Huîtres, a serious oyster and champagne party. This could well be the first paiting that depicts champagne as we know it today – sparkling. Look closely at the four aristocrats looking up at the popped champagne cork in the middle of the painting.

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