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Goltzius, Hendrick (1558-1617)
Venus between Ceres and BacchusDate: 1590s
Movement: Renaissance (Late, Mannerism)
Museum: Royal Museum of Fine Arts
Technique: Ink, chalk, bodycolour on paper; Dimensions: 40 x 28.7 cm
Bacchus is the Roman god of wine and intoxication, equated with the Greek Dionysus. His festival was celebrated on March 16 and 17. The Bacchanalia, orgies in honor of Dionysus, were introduced in Rome around 200 BCE. These infamous celebrations, notorious for their sexual and criminal character, got so out of hand that they were forbidden by the Roman Senate in 186 BCE. Bacchus is also identified with the old-Italian god Liber. (Source: www.pantheon.org)
In Roman mythology, Ceres is the goddess of growing plants (particularly cereals) and of motherly love. Ceres was worshipped in Ancient Roman religion and is usually equated with the Greek goddess Demeter. Ceres was the daughter of Saturn and Ops, wife-sister of Jupiter, mother of Proserpina by Jupiter and sister of Juno, Vesta, Neptune and Pluto. Works of art depicted Ceres conventionally with a scepter, a basket of flowers and fruit, and a garland made of corn ears. Ceres made up a trinity with Liber and Libera, who were two other agricultural gods.
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