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In this wild party, men and women dance around a term – a carved bust of a bearded and horned man. This is traditionally identified as Pan, god of woods and fields, flocks and herds, although the statue could also be Priapus, god of gardens and fertility, who wears floral garlands and exposes his genitalia.
The idealised bodies, rigid draperies and the careful arrangement of the dancers reflect Poussin’s study of ancient sculpture. Boldly coloured fabrics contrast with the dancers' skin tones and the woodland foliage.
A Bacchanalian Revel before a Term
Oil on canvas
H 98 x W 142.8 cm