Bacchus and Ariadne on the Island of Naxos
Oil on Canvas
59 x 44 1/4 in. 


About Francois Marot 

François Marot, born in 1666, first exhibited work at the Salon of 1704 at the Academy in Paris. Active from the late seventeenth to the early eighteenth century, Marot was a member of a group of Parisian history painters which included Antoine Coypel, who this work was once attributed to, Charles de La Fosse, and Jean Jouvenet. It was through his contemporary, La Fosse, that Marot was especially influenced by Rubens, as is very evident in the present painting, which depicts a scene from Greek mythology. The two central figures are Bacchus, the God of Wine, and Ariadne. Ariadne was the spurned lover of the hero Theseus, who abandoned her on the island of Naxos. The daughter of King Minos of Crete, she is famous for helping Theseus to defeat the Minotaur in her father's labyrinth. Deserted by Theseus on the island after his escape, she is rescued by the god Bacchus who happened upon her during a hunt, falling instantly in love with her beauty. They are shown here in an amorous embrace as Bacchus returns to Ariadne on the island after his campaigns in the East. They feed each other grapes as small putti and satyrs dance around them, celebrating his return.