This work is not currently on view.
oil on canvas
- Dimensions (H x W x D)
9 1/4 in x 19 1/4 in
- Inscriptions & Markings
signature/maker's mark: unsigned
- Collection Area
- Object Type
- Credit Line
Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation
- Accession Number
no known copyright restrictions
This painting hung at Wilton House, estate of the Earls of Pembroke, near Salisbury. In 1951 it was sold at auction as the work of the Italian mannerist Giulio Romano (1499-1546). It subsequently entered the Kress Collection. Attribution to the Flemish master Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) was considered; however, the painting was published in the 1977 catalog of the Kress Collection as attributed to the French landscape artist Jean-François Millet II (1666-1723). Recently, however, it was firmly established as the work of the forgotten artist Henry Ferguson, whose career led him from the Netherlands to Italy to England, where he provided numerous landscapes featuring distinctive fantasy ruins to an aristocratic English clientele.
This frieze, the drunken Silenus with nymphs and satyrs, was probably cut from its surrounding landscape in a response similar to that of contemporary critics, who praised its handling of classical ruins and their finely sculpted forms, but held Ferguson's landscapes to be "too dark and gloomy" for the tastes of the day.