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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Bacchus  Oil on canvas, c.1595  95 cm × 85 cm (37 in × 33 in)  Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy
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Title: Bacchus
Description:

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571 1610)
Bacchus
Oil on canvas, c.1595
95 cm × 85 cm (37 in × 33 in)
Uffizi Gallery, Florence, Italy

Bacchus (c.1595) is a painting by Italian Baroque master Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio (1571-1610). It is held in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

The painting shows a youthful Bacchus reclining in classical fashion with grapes and vine leaves in his hair, fingering the drawstring of his loosely-draped robe. On a stone table in front of him is a bowl of fruit and a large carafe of red wine; with his left hand he holds out to the viewer a shallow goblet of the same wine, apparently inviting the viewer to join him.

Bacchus was painted shortly after Caravaggio joined the household of his first important patron, Cardinal Del Monte, and reflects the pedophile interests of the Cardinal's homoerotic circle.

Whether intentional or not, there is humour in this painting. The pink-faced Bacchus is an accurate portrayal of a half-drunk teenager dressed in a sheet and leaning on a mattress in the Cardinal's Rome palazzo, but far less convincing as a Graeco-Roman god. The fruit and the carafe have attracted more scholarly attention than Bacchus himself. The fruit, because of the inedible condition of most of the items, is believed by the more serious-minded critics to signify the transience of worldly things. The carafe, because after the painting was cleaned, a tiny portrait of the artist working at his easel was discovered in the reflection on the glass. A reflection of Bacchus' face can also be seen on the surface of the wine in the glass he is holding.

Bacchus' offering of the wine with his left hand, despite the obvious effort this is causing the model, has led to speculation that Caravaggio used a mirror to assist himself while working life, doing away with the need for drawing. In other words, what appears to us as the boy's left hand was actually his right. This would accord with the comment by Caravaggio's early biographer, the artist Giovanni Baglione, that Caravaggio did some early paintings using a mirror. English artist David Hockney made Caravaggio's working methods a central feature of his thesis (known as the Hockney-Falco thesis) that Renaissance and later artists used some form of camera lucida.
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Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Penitent Magdalene (Mary Magdalene)  Oil on canvas, 	c. 1597  122.5 cm × 98.5 cm (48.2 in × 38.8 in)  Doria Pamphilj Gallery, Rome, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  Bacchus  Oil on canvas, c.1595  95 cm × 85 cm (37 in × 33 in)  Uffizi Gallery, Florence, ItalyMichelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, (1571  1610)  The Conversion of Saint Paul  Oil on cypress wood, 1600-1601  237 cm × 189 cm (93 in × 74 in)  Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome, Italy
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