Landscape with the Education of Bacchus

Object Details


Landscape with the Education of Bacchus


Francesco Zuccarelli (Italian, 1702 - 1778)






Oil on canvas


129.5 x 149.9 cm (51 x 59 in.)

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Accompanied by the young satyrs and nymphs with whom he grew up, the young god Bacchus rides in on a goat, probably alluding to his origins as a fertility god worshipped as a bull or a goat. Bacchus's plump, old teacher Silenos looks on from the hill while mature nymphs and a satyr dance in the background. Despite Bacchus's identity as the god of wine, no one drinks wine in this picture.

The loosely interpreted subject matter, however, merely serves as a pretext for the idyllic Italianate landscape with its cloudless sky, lush trees, and warm sunlight. Francesco Zuccarelli's characteristically lighthearted, decorative enchantments satisfied his patrons' desire for an ideal country scene on the walls of their own homes.

Zuccarelli frequently included gourd bottles in his paintings as a pun on his own name: the word zuccois Italian for gourd. In this painting, a gourd bottle hangs in the small tree behind Silenos.

by 1801 - still in 1803

Possibly the European Museum (London, England) [sale, European Museum, London, November 16, 1801, lot 525, unsold; sale, European Museum, London, June 13, 1803, lot 525.]

by 1804 - 1805

Possibly Sir Richard Worsley, seventh Bart., 1751 - 1805 (Appuldurcombe House, UK), by inheritance to his niece, Henrietta Anna Maria Charlotte, with the contents of Appuldurcombe House.

after 1805

Henrietta Anna Maria Charlotte, 1806, daughter of the Hon. John Bridgeman Simpson, who in 1806 married the Hon. Charles Anderson-Pelham, later first earl of Yarborough.

by 1850 - 1862

Charles Anderson Worsley Anderson-Pelham, second earl of Yarborough, 1809 - 1862 (Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire, England), by inheritance to his son, Charles Anderson Pelham Anderson-Pelham, 1862.

1862 - 1875

Charles Anderson-Pelham, third earl of Yarborough, 1835 - 1875 (Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire, England), by inheritance to his son, Charles Alfred Worsley Pelham, 1875.

1875 - 1929

Charles Alfred Worsley Pelham, fourth earl of Yarborough, 1859 - 1936 (Brocklesby Park, Lincolnshire, England) [sold, Yarborough sale, Christie's, London, July 12, 1929, lot 129, through Max Rothschild to Sackville Gallery.]

1929 -

Sackville Gallery (London, England)

by 1935 -

Adolfo Werner (Milan, Italy)

by 1952 - still in 1960

Werner Predeval (Milan, Italy)

- 1979

Private Collection (France), sold to Somerville and Simpson, Ltd., 1979.


Somerville and Simpson, Ltd. (London, England), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1979.

Pictures by Italian, Spanish, Flemish, Dutch, French and English Masters (1850) (Cat. 105)
  • British Institution for Promoting the Fine Arts in the United Kingdom, (London), 1850
Exposition de l'art italien: de Cimabue à Tiepolo (1935) (Cat. 489)
  • Musée du Petit Palais, (Paris), 1935