London National Gallery Top 20 09 Titian - Bacchus and Ariadne [10 of 21]
Titian - Bacchus and Ariadne, 1522-23, 175 x 191 cm. Bacchus, god of wine, emerges with his followers from the landscape to the right. Falling in love with Ariadne on sight, he leaps from his chariot, drawn by two cheetahs, towards her. Ariadne had been abandoned on the Greek island of Naxos by Theseus, whose ship is shown in the distance. The picture shows her initial fear of Bacchus, but he raised her to heaven and turned her into a constellation, represented by the stars above her head. Titian’s little dog barks excitedly at the strutting faun with jasmine in his hair, trailing a mangled calf’s head alongside a caper flower, symbol of love.