At over two feet in diameter, this stunning majolica platter or charger, is particularly large. The painted scene painted was taken from a ceiling fresco known as the The Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne, by Annibale Carracci in 1597. It was part of the ceiling fresco cycle titled, “The Loves of the Gods”, in the Farnese Gallery of the Palazzo Farnese in Rome.
The story of Ariadne and Bacchus begins when Ariadne, daughter of King Minor of Crete, helps Theseus, an Athenian hero, kill the Minotaur, a half man and half bull who lived in a labyrinth on Crete. Ariadne
saves his life by giving him a ball of thread so he can find his way back through the maze. Theseus kills the minotaur and finds his way to the entrance, thanks to Ariadne. After achieving the kill, he sets sail with Ariadne to return to Athens. Stopping along the way on the island of Naxos, Ariadne falls asleep. During this time Theseus deserts her! Upon awakening, she searches the shore of Naxos, desperately searching for her lost lover. Ariadne is suddenly surprised by Bacchus, God of Wine and his partying entourage. Bacchus falls in love with Ariadne and offers to marry her. He promises her a crown of stars as a wedding gift This is the scene depicted on this Majolica Platter below. In other versions of the story, Bacchus offers her the sky where she later becomes the constellation of the Northern Crown (Corona Borealis).
Ariadne was a favorite subject for paintings, sculptures and pottery with over 400 images of Ariadne on various pieces of artwork. Bottom photo Courtesy of Web Gallery of Art. CARRACCI, Annibale. (b. 1560, Bologna, d. 1609, Roma)
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with only minor chips to edges and back.