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Key facts
Full title The Triumph of Silenus
Artist After Nicolas Poussin
Artist dates 1594 - 1665
Date made probably about 1637
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 142.9 x 120.5 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1824
Inventory number NG42
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
The Triumph of Silenus
After Nicolas Poussin

This playful scene celebrates Silenus, Greek god of wine and drunkenness, and companion to the god Bacchus. Silenus, a fat naked old man with a bald head, sits slumped on a throne to the left, supported by two men. Too drunk to stand, he balances one leg precariously on a tiger. The partygoers remove their clothing and enjoy the festivities. The flute player stares towards us, inviting us to join the party. To the right, a shepherd seduces a female satyr, who symbolises lust. Behind them, two centaurs with human bodies and horses' legs attack an ass.

This is a copy of an original work by Poussin and was likely made by an assistant. The composition is complex and sophisticated with trees and rocky cliffs framing the scene. The figures are coarsely painted but the foreground objects are meticulously detailed.

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