User Menu

MFA for Educators

Engage your students with the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, to illustrate themes and concepts in any discipline.

Bacchus and Ariadne

Start collecting

Ariadne, daughter of King Minos of Crete, helped the Greek hero Theseus escape from her father's infamous Labyrinth, but Theseus abandoned her soon after on the island of Naxos. She was rescued by Bacchus, god of wine, who is seen here rushing in from his ship. He honored her by flinging her...

Show Full Description


Possibly Marie-Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry (b. 1746 - d. 1793), Paris; February 17, 1777, possibly in the du Barry sale, Paillet, Paris, lot 20 [see note 1]. 1789, Philippe-Louis Parizeau (b. 1740 - d. 1801), Paris; March 26, 1789, Parizeau sale, Paillet, Paris, lot 32, bought in; May 24, 1792, Parizeau sale, Hôtel de Bullion Paris, lot 63, bought in [see note 2]; March 11, 1793, Parizeau sale, Paris, lot 43. 1966, private collection; 1966, sold from this private collection, through an unknown intermediary, to Heim Gallery, Paris; 1968, sold by Heim to the MFA [see note 3]. (Accession Date: December 11, 1968) NOTES: [1] See Eric Zafran, French Paintings in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, vol. 1, Artists Born Before 1790 (Boston, 1998), p. 67, cat. no. 20. [2] Alain Mérot, Eustache Le Sueur (1616-1655) (Paris: Arthena, 1987), p. 179, cat. no. 31. [3] Accessioned as a work by Simon Vouet.

Credit Line

Ernest Wadsworth Longfellow Fund, and Grant Walker Fund

about 1640


175.3 x 125.7 cm (69 x 49 1/2 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Oil on canvas