Bacchus and Ariadne

Object Details


Bacchus and Ariadne


Giuseppe Piamontini (Italian, 1663 - 1744)




first half of 18th century




40 x 29.5 x 21.6 cm (15 3/4 x 11 5/8 x 8 1/2 in.)

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Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, sits in a rocky landscape with his wife, Ariadne. He holds grapes and a wine cup, while she squeezes grapes into a ewer of wine at her side. She wears the golden crown--set with red gems to look like roses--that Bacchus gave her upon their marriage.

In addition to this bronze, Piamontini also created a large marble group of the same composition, signed and dated 1732, now in a private collection.

The sculptor arranged the two figures not to be seen from all sides but primarily from a single viewpoint in front. Despite the shallowness of the composition, the figures gracefully twist on their axes. Ariadne in particular assumes the form of a corkscrew, with her knees bending to her right and her shoulders swinging to the left. As was characteristic of sculpture at this time, the figures' bodies are much more expressive than their faces, which are emotionally blank. Porcelain copies of this group were produced by the Ginori Porcelain Manufactory at Doccia.

by 1967

David Peel (London, United Kingdom), sold to Daniel Katz, 1983.

- 1983

Daniel Katz Ltd. (London, United Kingdom), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983

Il fasto e la ragione Arte del Settecento a Firenze (May 30 to December 13, 2009)
  • Galleria degli Uffizi, (Florence), May 30 to December 13, 2009

Montagu, J. "'Hercules and Iole' and Some Other Bronzes by Foggini." Apollo 87 (March 1968), pp. 170-75, fig. 7 (as by Giovanni Battista Foggini).

The Twilight of the Medici: Late Baroque Art in Florence, 1670-1743, exh. cat. (Detroit: Detroit Institute of Arts; Florence: Palazzo Davanzati, 1974), unbound addendum, nos. 297, 298 (pp. 66-68 in Italian ed.), entry by Jennifer Montagu (as by Giovanni Battista Foggini).

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 1st ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), p. 190.

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 2nd ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1988), p. 190.

Bellesi, Sandro. "L'antico e i virtuosismi tardobarocchi nell'opera di Giuseppe Piamontini." Paragone 42 (July 1991), pp. 29-31, figs. 48-50 (as by Giuseppe Piamontini).

Pratesi, Giovanni, ed. Repertorio della scultura fiorentina del seicento e settecento (Turin: Umberto Allemandi & C., 1993) vol. 1, p. 94, vol. 2, figs. 434-35.

Fusco, Peter. Summary Catalogue of European Sculpture in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1997), p. 21, ill. (as by Giovanni Battista Foggini, ca. 1690).

Bellesi, Sandro. I marmi di Giuseppe Piamontini (Florence: ed. Polistampa, 2008), pp. 65-66 (as Giuseppe Piamontini).

Natali, Antonio, Carlo Sisi and Riccardo Spinelli, eds. Il fasto e la ragione. Arte del Settecento a Firenze (Florence: Uffizi, with Giunti, 2009), p. 116, no. 27, entry by Sandro Bellesi (as Giuseppe Piamontini, ca. 1700).

Bacchi, Andrea ed. A taste for sculpture. Marble terracotta and ivory (16th to 20th centuries), exh. cat. (London: Brun Fine Art, 2014), pp. 62, 66 ad 66, ill. p. 64, entry by Andrea Bacchi (as Giuseppe Piamontini).