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Bacchic Frieze

Henry%20Ferguson%2C%20%3Cb%3E%3Ci%3E%20Bacchic%20Frieze%3C%2Fi%3E%3C%2Fb%3E%2C%201680%2F1710%2C%20oil%20on%20canvas%2C%20Gift%20of%20the%20Samuel%20H.%20Kress%20Foundation%2C%20no%20known%20copyright%20restrictions%2C%2061.60
Henry Ferguson, Bacchic Frieze, 1680/1710, oil on canvas, Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, no known copyright restrictions, 61.60

This work is not currently on view.

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Details
Title

Bacchic Frieze

Artist

Henry Ferguson (Dutch, 1655-1730)

Date

1680/1710

Medium

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

European Art

Category

Paintings

Object Type

painting

Culture

British

Credit Line

Gift of the Samuel H. Kress Foundation

Accession Number

61.60

Copyright

no known copyright restrictions

Terms

Bacchus

canvas

friezes

nymphs

Object Stories

oil paint

oil paintings

paintings

Samuel H. Kress Foundation

satyrs

Description

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.

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