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One of Poussin’s most famous masterpieces, the picture’s complex iconography was probably dictated by its patron Giulio Rospigliosi, later Pope Clement IX. Its first meaning is derived from Boitet de Frauville’s Les Dionysiaques, which describes how, following the complaints of Time and the Seasons, Jupiter gave Bacchus and his gift of wine to the world to alleviate the harsh conditions of human life.
oil on canvas
H 82.5 x W 104 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1845; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897