Mercury Delivering the Infant Bacchus into the Care of the Nymphs of Nyssa

Image credit: The Bowes Museum

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There are several legends about Bacchus's infancy, but one says that this illegitimate son of Jupiter and a mortal woman was pursued by the wrath of Juno, Jupiter's wife, and was raised by the nymphs of Nysa who taught him how to make wine. Once an adult he planted vines and was adored as the god of wine. But Juno eventually made him become mad and he wandered the world. In the picture, it is Mercury, the son and faithful servant of Jupiter, who delivers the child to his carers. The mountain in the background is Mount Nysa.

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle


Mercury Delivering the Infant Bacchus into the Care of the Nymphs of Nyssa


oil on canvas


H 93.7 x W 125 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by the Founders, 1885

Work type



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Normally on display at

The Bowes Museum

Barnard Castle, County Durham DL12 8NP England

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