Diego Velázquez, Los Borrachos (The Triumph of Bacchus), 1628-29

Dionysus was the Greek god of fertility, wine, and the grape harvest. The ancient Romans called him Bacchus and Velázquez has depicted him here at center crowning a well-dressed Spaniard with an ivy wreath, ivy being associated with Bacchus. To Bacchus’ right lounges Silenus, his trusty sidekick and wingman. To his left sits a group of drunkards (hence the Spanish title Los Borrachos = The Drunkards). These men wear the clothes of typical 17th Century harvest workers, and in all likelihood have just finished up the grape harvest for the season and are sitting down to celebrate.

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