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The scene shows a naked bacchante, or female devotee of Bacchus the god of wine, squeezing a bunch of grapes into a cup held by a satyr. In the background a second bacchante revels in her physical abandonment by dancing and beating a tambourine while another satyr plays a pipe to accompany the Bacchic ritual. The picture’s licentious subject matter may have attracted the Regent, Philippe, Duc d’Orléans (1674–1723) and later the 3rd Marquess of Hertford, both owners of the painting and both notable rakes.

The Wallace Collection



Bacchanalian Scene


1700/1709 (?)


oil on copper


H 27.6 x W 22.8 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Francis Charles Seymour-Conway, 3rd Marquess of Hertford, 1818; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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