EVERDINGEN, Caesar van
(b. 1617, Alkmaar, d. 1678, Alkmaar)

Bacchus with Nymphs and Cupid

c. 1660
Oil on canvas, 147 x 161 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Opinions differ regarding the subject-matter of the picture. The museum catalogue lists it as Bacchus with Nymphs and Cupid, but has also been identified as 'Bacchus, Flora and Pomona', or 'Sine Cerere et Baccho friget Venus', or 'Bacchus and Ariadne on Naxos'.

The image is dominated by the graceful, almost naked woman who leans back and smiles at us over her shoulder. Her gaze is sensual. The other figures, which are subordinate to and lower than the main figure, keep their eyes fixed on her. A surprising detail can be observed: the woman's right leg is poised on the knees of two lower legs which would seem to belong to the man behind her sipping from a flute glass. But from an anatomical point of view they could not be his.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 4 minutes):
Francesco Gasparini: The Meddlesome Cupid, aria