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Follower of Dosso Dossi, A Bacchanal

Key facts
Full title A Bacchanal
Artist Follower of Dosso Dossi
Artist dates about 1486 - 1542
Date made about 1525
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 140.9 × 168.2 cm
Acquisition credit Bequeathed by Sir Lionel Faudel-Phillips, 1941
Inventory number NG5279
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
A Bacchanal
Follower of Dosso Dossi

Followers of Bacchus – the Roman god of wine and fertility – feast, drink and make love in the countryside. The painting resembles the great bacchanal scenes that were commissioned from the leading painters of Venice by Alfonso I d‘Este, Duke of Ferrara, for the Camerino d’Alabastro (Alabaster Room) in his palace, in particular Bellini’s Feast of the Gods (National Gallery of Art, Washington) and Titian’s Bacchanal of the Andrians (Prado, Madrid). However, the absence of the pigment ultramarine blue, which features consistently in the paintings for the Camerino, makes it highly unlikely that this painting could have hung among them, as has sometimes been suggested. The blue pigment in the sky here is azurite.

It is not known who painted this picture. although it is reminiscent of the work of Dosso Dossi and may well be by a follower. It may have been commissioned by a Ferrarese patron who wanted an original work inspired by Bellini and Titian’s Bacchanals for Alfonso I d'Este.

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