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.
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Frank Auerbach (77)