Frank Auerbach

Bacchus and Ariadne

1971

Artist
Frank Auerbach born 1931
Medium
Oil paint on board
Dimensions
Support: 1223 x 1530 mm
frame: 1387 x 1693 x 90 mm
Collection
Tate
Acquisition
Presented by the executors of the estate of David Wilkie 1993
Reference
T06687

Not on display

Display caption

Auerbach based this painting on Titian's Bacchus and Ariadne (1522-3) in the National Gallery, London. Titian depicts the Roman god of wine with his dissolute followers, catching sight of Ariadne, whom he married and transformed into a constellation of stars. Adapting the figures, trees and clouds of the original painting into a vivid network of lines and gestural brushwork, Auerbach conveys a powerful sense of energy and movement. 'I mean to make it as extreme as possible', he told the collector David Wilkie, who commissioned the painting.

Gallery label, August 2004