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According to Ovid’s 'Metamorphoses' (VIII, 169–182), Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete, helped Theseus to slay the Minotaur and escape the labyrinth, only to be abandoned by him on the island of Naxos. Bacchus rescued her, took her jewelled crown and threw it into the heavens, where it became a constellation. He married her soon afterwards. Ariadne in Greuze’s picture is characteristically shown lamenting her lost love before being comforted by the new.
oil on mahogany panel
49 x 42.8 cm
acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1849; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897
The Wallace Collection
Hertford House Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN EnglandView venue
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