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Bacchanale with reclining Ariadne: C.3207-1928

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 26 (Lower Marlay)


Bacchanale with reclining Ariadne


Factory: Doccia Porcelain Factory
Painter: Mignard, Pierre (After)
Engraver: Poilly, Jean-Baptiste de (After)




Greyish-white hard-paste porcelain, press-moulded and glazed

Greyish-white hardpaste porcelain, press-moulded in high relief, and coated on the front with glaze which appears brownish where it lies thickly. Rectangular; warped in firing so that the unglazed reverse is slightly convex. Ariadne reclines on a couch on the right under two trees with a curtain draped over their branches to form an awning. Further to the right is a dancing putto, and a woman kneeling with her back to the viewer, holding a shallow basket of flowers. Ariadne looks towards her, while holding out a fruit/flower to a putto who is climbing onto the end of the couch. Behind him another putto kneels supporting on his head a shallow basket of fruit. Behind him are two trees in low relief. Further to the left girl and boy move to the left, the latter blowing a long pipe towards three birds flying overhead. Below, a putto plays with a swan, and on the extreme left there is a seated putto and a standing putto beside a bearded herm of Bacchus bedecked with a garland of flowers.


History note: Sotheby’s, 14 November, 1924, lot 30; bought for £2.5.0 by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher, Trinity College, Cambridge

Legal notes

Dr J.W.L. Glaisher Bequest

Measurements and weight

Height: 15.2 cm
Width: 21.6 cm

Relative size of this object

21.6 cm15.2 cm What does this represent?

Relative size of this object is displayed using code inspired by Good Form and Spectacle's work on the British Museum's Waddeson Bequest website and their dimension drawer. They chose a tennis ball to represent a universally sized object, from which you could envisage the size of an object.

Place(s) associated

  • Doccia ⪼ Tuscany ⪼ Italy

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bequeathed (1928) by Glaisher, J. W. L., Dr


Mid 18th Century
Marchese Ginori period
Circa 1745 CE - 1750 CE


The wax model for this relief, and another of a Bacchanale with Bacchus and Ariadne, are at the Doccia factory museum at Sesto Fiorentino.. One or other is probably ‘Un piccolo bassorilievo esprimente un Baccanale, con forme di cera’ in the factory’s late 18th century inventory of models. In Die Modellsammlung der Porzellan-manufaktur Doccia, Klaus Lankeit also noted a payment to Vincenzo Foggini in 1746 for a ‘bassorilievo di un baccanale’, which might also refer to one or other relief. Dr Jennifer Montagu pointed out that the Fitzwilliam’s relief was ultimately derived from he central part of a French engraving, Le Printems: L'hymen de Zephyr et de Flore by Jean Baptiste de Poilly (1669-1728) after the first of Pierre I Mignard (1612-95) cycle of four seasons painted in 1677 for the Galerie d'Apollon in the Chateau de Sait-Cloud.

People, subjects and objects depicted

Components of the work

Front composed of glaze ( clear and brownish where it lies thickly)
Highest Relief Depth 2.6 cm

Materials used in production

greyish-white Hard-paste porcelain

Techniques used in production

Press-moulding : Greyish-white soft-paste porcelain, press-moulded, and glazed.

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.3207-1928
Primary reference Number: 140257
Old object number: 4470
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Saturday 6 August 2011 Updated: Tuesday 1 March 2016 Last processed: Tuesday 22 November 2022

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2022) "Bacchanale with reclining Ariadne" Web page available at: Accessed: 2022-12-02 16:36:27

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