The J. Paul Getty Museum


Object Details




Alessandro Magnasco (Italian, 1667 - 1749)




about 1720–1730


Oil on canvas

Object Number:



118.1 × 148.6 cm (46 1/2 × 58 1/2 in.)

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Object Description

Nymphs and satyrs participate in an ancient pagan feast celebrating Bacchus, the god of wine. Twisting, dancing, singing, and playing musical instruments, the small figures engage in unrestrained revelry, somewhat at odds with the dignified background of classical ruins.

Alessandro Magnasco use a limited color palette for this painting, adding bright blue accents to represent swirling drapery. He created figures using quick, intuitive strokes of paint, producing a composition that appears full of movement. Magnasco painted this work, along with its pendant (also in the Getty’s collection), The Triumph of Venus, in Milan early in his career. His collaborator, Clemente Spera (c. 1661–1742), likely painted the architectural elements, which would explain the stark contrast between the linear, refined brushwork of the ruins and the more sketchy quality of Magnasco’s figures.

- about 1940

German Consul General (possibly Canada), possibly sold to The University Club of Toronto, about 1940.

about 1940 - 1977

The University Club of Toronto (Toronto, Canada), sold to Artemis Fine Arts Ltd. and Newhouse Galleries, 1977.

1977 - 1978

Artemis Fine Arts Ltd. (London, England; New York, New York) and Newhouse Galleries (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978.

An Exhibition of Paintings by Fetti and Masgnasco (November 16 to December 20, 1977)
  • Artemis Fine Arts Ltd. (London), November 16 to December 20, 1977
Kunst in der Republik Genua, 1528-1815 (September 5 to November 8, 1992)
  • Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt), September 5 to November 8, 1992
Alessandro Magnasco 1667-1749 (March 21 to July 7, 1996)
  • Palazzo Reale (Milano), March 21 to July 7, 1996

B. N. "Current and Forthcoming Exhibitions: Artemis." Burlington Magazine 119, no. 897 (December 1977), p. 873, fig. 70.

An Exhibition of Paintings by Fetti and Magnasco, exh. cat. (London: Artemis Fine Arts, with David Carritt Ltd., 1977), unpaginated, no. 5, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), pp. 89-90, ill.

Newcome, Mary. "Rezensionen: Fausta Franchini Guelfi, Alessandro Magnasco." Kunstchronik 32, no. 4. (April 1979), pp. 145, 159, fig.1.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), unpaginated, no. 21, ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), pp. 82, 83, ill.

De Carrache à Guardi: la peinture italienne des XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles dans les musées du Nord de la France, exh. cat. (Lille: Musée de Dunkerque, 1985), p. 93, under no. 29.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 93.

Fredericksen, Burton B. Masterpieces of Painting in the J. Paul Getty Museum. Rev. ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), unpaginated, no. 14, ill.

Newcome Schleier, Mary, et al., eds. Kunst in der Republik Genua, 1528-1815, exh. cat. (Frankfurt: Schirn Kunsthalle, 1992), p. 207, no. 113, fig. 113.

Muti, Laura, and Daniele de Sarno Prignano. Alessandro Magnasco (Ravenna: Edit Faenza, 1994), pp. 87, 170, 229, 512, no. 167, pl. 30, fig. 305.

Brigstocke, Hugh. Review of Alessandro Manasco. Palazzo Reale, Milan. Burlington Magazine 138, no. 1123 (October 1996), p. 711.

Mandel, Oscar. The Art of Alessandro Magnasco: An Essay in the Recovery of Meaning, with a Survey of Magnasco Paintings in North American Collections (Florence: L. S. Olschki, 1994), pp. 83, 87, fig. 9.

Camesasca, Ettore, and Marco Bona Castellotti, eds. Alessandro Magnasco 1667-1749, exh. cat. (Milan: Palazzo Reale, with Electa, 1996), p. 206, no. 53, ill.

Jaffé, David. Summary Catalogue of European Paintings in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 79, ill.