Advanced Search
Portrait of a Young Man as Bacchus

Portrait of a Young Man as Bacchus

Artist: Jean-Marc Nattier (French, 1685 – 1766)

Date: ca. 1740s
Medium: Oil on canvas
Frame: 77 3/8 × 62 3/16 × 6 1/2 in. (196.5 × 158 × 16.5 cm)
Image: 57 1/2 × 45 5/16 × 1 3/16 in. (146 × 115.1 × 3 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of John Ringling, 1936
Object number: SN380
On View: Art Museum Gallery 15
About this ObjectNattier specialized in disguised portraits of wealthy and aristocratic women in which he presented his clients as ancient goddesses. This painting is a rare example of Nattier showing a male sitter as a god from ancient mythology. The rotund young man here is shown as Bacchus, the god of wine—the grapes, wine cup, leopard skin, and thyrsus (staff encircled by vines) are all attributes of the god. As Bacchus was the son of Jupiter, the king of the gods, the painting may portray a relative of the king.
Probably by 1817, Eliza Jumel (1775–1865), New York; (probably sold Jumel sale, Fontaine, New York, 24 April 1821, lot 65). Probably by 1878, Hon. Thomas B. Carroll, Troy, New York. Edgar Mills (d. 1928), New York; (sold Mills sale, Samuel Marx, New York, 11–14 November 1930, lot 185); John Ringling (1866–1936), Sarasota, Florida; bequest in 1936 to the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Sarasota, Florida.
This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or have spotted an error, please send feedback to