BRAY, Jan de
(b. ca. 1627, Haarlem, d. 1697, Haarlem)

Bacchus

c. 1665
Oil on panel, 23 x 18 cm
Private collection

Bacchus was the god of wine and drunken revelry, as well as inspirer of ritual madness and ecstasy. He was a major figure in Greek and Roman mythology and was one of the twelve Olympians. In Jan de Bray's painting he is presented as a youthful male. It is possible that the young man depicted in Bacchus was a person well known to de Bray, whom he then used as a model to represent the classical god.