The collections at Loggia explore select areas of study in art and art history, architecture and design, the decorative arts, industrial design, and classical studies such as Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.



home | art | art history | 19th c. | gallery | Alma-Tadema | A Dedication to Bacchus

A Dedication to Bacchus

title | A Dedication to Bacchus

artist | Lawrence Alma-Tadema

period | Victorian

date | 1889

collection | Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg

Artist Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema's painting A Dedication to Bacchus is an imaginative and dramatic work inspired by ancient Roman ritual. The subject of the painting is, as the title suggests, a dedication to Bacchus (Bacchus was the Roman god of wine, and rites celebrated in his honor were called Bacchanalia). In this image, a young child is being initiated into the mysteries of Bacchus - this child is therefore a "dedication" to the god.

The golden haired child stands to the left of the painting, in front of a group of male and female musicians. Next to them a pair of graceful female figures are dancing to the music - these figures are meant to represent bacchantes or maeands, female followers of the god Bacchus. The center of the work is dominated by a tiger skin clad bacchante who is holding a branch in the air. She is echoed visually by another bacchante wearing a leopard skin who stands serenely on the far left.

While the actions of the beautifully depicted figures make A Dedication to Bacchus a compelling work, it is important to note that the rich archaeological details also contribute to the authenticity of this painting. Lawrence Alma-Tadema included several references to Classical art in this piece, such as his frieze of a centauromachy (a mythological battle between the Lapiths and centaurs) that was based on an image from the Temple of Apollo at Bassae. It is also worth mentioning that a pamphlet written by F.G. Stephens accompanied the painting when it was exhibited in 1889. This pamphlet featured an interpretation of the subject of Alma-Tadema's intriguing work.

More information about the role that Bacchus (Dionysos) played in mythology can be found at Mythography.

Lawrence Alma-Tadema

Rosemary Barrow is the author of this remarkable book about Lawrence Alma-Tadema. Barrow offers intriguing insights into the artist's works, and also proposes ideas that lead to a critical reevaluation of Alma-Tadema's paintings. Graced with a generous number of stunning color images, this highly recommended book is certain to delight - and enlighten - fans of Victorian art.

Victorian Painting

Christopher Wood's elegant and informative book features a comprehensive "who's who" of Victorian artists, from Pre-Raphaelite masters such as Dante Gabriel Rossetti, to what Wood terms the Olympian Dreamers - including Lawrence Alma-Tadema, G.F. Watts, and Albert Moore.