Richard Dadd

Bacchanalian Scene


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In Tate Britain

Richard Dadd 1817–1886
Oil on wood
Support: 356 × 241 mm
frame: 447 × 335 × 45 mm
Lent from a private collection 1993
On long term loan

Display caption

On the basis of the satyr in the lower right corner, this picture has been identified as a scene of Bacchic revelry. Satyrs were the goat-like followers of Bacchus, the god of wine, and were accompanied by frenzied female devotees known as Maenads. The goblet from which the satyr drinks is inscribed with Latin verse which does not quite make sense. It translates as ‘Each man then has his own unlucky fate both here and beyond – like must be added to like and one’s due paid to the appointed spirit’.

Gallery label, May 2007

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