Jan Brueghel the Elder
Netherlandish, 1568 ‑ 1625
Hendrik van Balen I
Netherlandish, 1575 ‑ 1632
A Bacchanal, about 1608 ‑ 1616
Oil on panel
23 5/16 × 32 1/2 in. (59.2 × 82.6 cm.)
Museum purchase
Restored by income from the Marguerite Montgomery Baquie Memorial Trust, 1992  

Revelry of the Gods
This ancient annual festival was named for Bacchus, the Roman god of wine. The bacchanal celebrated the abundance of the harvest and the autumnal ritual of
pressing the new wine. Gods, goddesses, satyrs, and nymphs are seen drinking and dining as the followers of Bacchus make their way to a temple deep in the woods to worship. Throughout their careers, Jan Brueghel the Elder and Hendrick van Balen had a successful working relationship, frequently collaborating on paintings. Brueghel would complete the landscape, then van Balen would paint the figures. A Bacchanal is thought to belong to a suite of paintings representing the Four Seasons.