Drunken Silenus supported by Satyrs

Silenus was the teacher and companion of Bacchus, the god of wine; he is often shown supported by satyrs because of his age and drunken condition. At the lower right two putti offer him grapes, while above them an old Bacchante carries a torch. On the left a figure playes pipes, and a young Bacchante squeezes grapes over Silenus.

The painting is thought to have been executed in Rubens' studio. The sky and landscape are probably by Jan Wildens, and the foliage and fruit by Frans Snijders. The design of the figures may have been executed by a member of the studio, possibly Van Dyck, and then reworked by Rubens himself. The composition derives in part from a work of a similar subject by Rubens, 'The March of Silenus' (Munich, Alte Pinakothek).

Key facts

Artist dates
1599 - 1641
Full title
Drunken Silenus supported by Satyrs
Date made
about 1620
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
133.5 x 197 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1871
Inventory number
Location in Gallery