The Feast of the Gods (Bellini)

The Feast of the Gods (Bellini)

Infobox Painting|

title=The Feast of the Gods
artist=Giovanni Bellini and Titian
type=Oil on canvas
museum=National Gallery of Art
The "Feast of the Gods" (1514) is an oil painting by the Italian Renaissance master Giovanni Bellini. It is one of a cycle of paintings on mythological subjects produced for Alfonso I d'Este, the Duke of Ferrara, for his "camerino d'alabastro" ('chamber of alabaster') in the Castello Estense, Ferrara. It is one of the few mythological pictures of the Venetian artist, who repeatedly modified it. At his death soon afterwards (1516), Titian modified the landscape on the left to match it to his "Bacchanalia" (1518–1523), also in Alfonso's camerino.

The scene depicted conflates two episodes in Ovid's "Fasti". Priapus, on the left, is attempting to seduce the sleeping nymph Lotis, but is prevented from success by the bray of Silenus' donkey. Around are the drunken Gods: Jupiter has an eagle next to him, Poseidon is caressing Cybele and Ceres, while Hermes is languidly lying on a barrel. The boy with vine-leaves on his head is an unusually young depiction of Bacchus. It is thought that Bellini initially painted the figures as mortals, following a misleading translation of Ovid (the so-called "Orgasma volgarizzato"), and had to re-paint them with the attributes of the Olympian gods. [Jaffé, David and Sorcha Carey, "Giovanni Bellini (about 1430–1516), with additions by Titian: "The Feast of the Gods". "Titian". Ed. David Jaffé. London: National Gallery Company, 2003, p. 108]

The painting was bought from the Duke of Northumberland by the American magnate Peter A. B. Widener in 1925, and later entered the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. with the rest of his collection. [Conisbee, Philip, "The Ones That Got Away". "Saved! 100 Years of the National Art Collection Fund" Ed. Richard Verdi. London: Scala, 2003, p. 30]

ee also

*Bacchus and Ariadne
*Alfonso I d'Este


External links

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