(b. 1659, Belluno, d. 1734, Venezia)
Bacchus and Ariadnec. 1713
Oil on canvas, 189 x 104 cm
Chiswick House, London
It was Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, who helped Theseus, whom she loved, to escape from the labyrinth with the aid of a ball of string, but all she had in return was to be abandoned by him on the island of Naxos. Here Bacchus came to her rescue. Classical representations show Ariadne asleep when Bacchus arrives, as described by Philostratus. But according to Ovid she was at that moment lamenting her fate, and Renaissance and later artists generally depict her awake. Bacchus took her jeweled crown and flung it into the heavens where it became a constellation. Ariadne was readily consoled by him and they were married shortly afterwards.