- Reference number
- Houasse, Michel-Ange (French)
- Offering to Bacchus
- 125 cm x 180 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Colección Felipe V, Palacio Real de La Granja, Segovia, 1727; col. Felipe V, La Granja, 1746, nº 395; La Granja, 1794, nº 395; La Granja, 1814-1818, nº 395).
This pagan scene shows the offer that the Bacchants, or followers of Bacchus, made to their god. In the center, a priest offers the sacrifice on an altar in front of the statue of the deity crowned with grape leaves. All around, those attending the feast drink, or appear totally inebriated, sleeping off the effects of the wine.
This mythological scene shows how Houasse was influenced by the tradition of Baroque painting. It recalls certain scenes by Rubens, filtered through artists such as Antoine Coypel. But there are also echoes of Titian here, especially in the female figure sleeping on the right side of the composition.
As a specialist in this type of mythological images, Houasse combined a certain gallant aspect with academic principles in his work. The individualized rendering of each group or figure may weaken the scene's sense of unity, but it adds a wealth of details.
This work is paired with Bacchanal (P2267), and both were in the collection of Queen Isabel Farnesio at the la Granja Palace in 1746.