Object Details




Alessandro Magnasco (Italian (Genoese), 1667 - 1749)




about 1720 - 1730


Oil on canvas


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

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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 at odds with the staid background of classical ruins. The dancing figures convey a sense of irrationality, as if the classical statuary had come alive to re-live the bacchanalian rituals of the past.

Alessandro Magnasco used monochromatic colors for his painting, adding blue accents to represent swirling drapery. He created figures using quick, agitated strokes of paint with daubs of white for highlights. Magnasco made this painting and its pendant, The Triumph of Venus, in Milan early in his career. His collaborator Clemente Spera probably painted the architectual ruins.

- 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)

1977 - 1978

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) (Cat. 5)
  • Artemis Fine Arts Ltd. (London)
Kunst in der Republik Genua, 1528-1815 (September 5 to November 8, 1992) (Cat. 113)
  • Schirn Kunsthalle (Frankfurt)
Alessandro Magnasco 1667-1749 (March 21 to July 7, 1996) (Cat. 53)
  • Palazzo Reale (Milano)

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., et al. 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.

Schwenk, Bernhart, Bettina-Martine Wolter, and Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt. 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.

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. 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.