Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hey Bacchus, Old Buddy - Peel Me A Grape, Will Ya?

The Sunday Six #9: Little Ole Wine Drinker, Me*

Fig. 1. Jacopo Amigoni - Bacchus and Ariadne, n.d.

Fig. 2. Annibale Carracci - Bacchus and Ariadne, 1595

Fig. 3. Peter Paul Rubens - Venus, Cupid, Bacchus and Ceres, 1613

Fig. 4. Nicolas Poussin - The Nurture of Bacchus, c. 1630-35

Fig. 5. Charles Joseph Natoire - The Triumph of Bacchus, 1747

Fig. 6. Jean Leon Gerome - Anacréon, Bacchus and Cupid, 1848

'A vine bears three grapes: the first of pleasure, the second of drunkenness, and the third of repentance.'


* Little Ole Wine Drinker, Me (lyrics by Dean Martin)

Addendum: Two Ladies Who No Longer Need A Special Introduction

Katie and ESVM have penned a few words for us and sent them posthaste all the way from chilly San Francisco. Many thanks to you both. Katie says:

Interesting all these different interpretations of partying with Bacchus. None of these paintings look excessively ribald, which is nice. I can't decide if I want to join in on the fun à la Rubens or Poussin though.

Yesterday I was at the Treasures from Afghanistan [Afghanistan: Hidden Treasures from the National Museum, Kabul] exhibit in SF (I'll toss up some postcards soon at KF) and one of my favorite pieces was the bronze handle of a bowl with busts of female followers of Bacchus. Plus there were some amazing glass cups and goblets that would have been perfect vessels for wine.

And yes, ESVM had a little something to say on this topic:


I drank at every vine.
The last was like the first.
I came upon no wine
So wonderful as thirst.

I gnawed at every root.
I ate of every plant.
I came upon no fruit
So wonderful as want.

Feed the grape and bean
To the vintner and monger;
I will lie down lean
With my thirst and my hunger.

E.S.V. Millay