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One of the most famous paintings in the National Gallery, Titian’s Bacchus and Ariadne illustrates a story told by the classical authors Ovid and Catullus. The Cretan princess Ariadne has been abandoned on the Greek island of Naxos by Theseus, whose ship sails away in the distance. Bacchus, god of wine, falls in love at first sight with Ariadne and leaps from his chariot towards her. Later, Bacchus throws Ariadne’s crown into the air, immortalising her as the constellation Corona Borealis, represented by the stars above her head.
Bacchus and Ariadne
Oil on canvas
H 176.5 x W 191 cm