|Molded Stoneware, Basalt & Parian|
Charles Meigh titled this buff color molded stoneware jug "Bacchanalian Dance." While the...
Charles Meigh titled this buff color molded stoneware jug "Bacchanalian Dance." While the complex figural groups on each side illustrate scenes of licentiousness and debauchery associated with Bacchus and the grape, the derivation of the images from paintings by two esteemed masters conveys upon the jug a cultivated respectability.
The rapturous dancers flinging themselves across one side of the mug come from Poussin's "Bacchanalian Revel Before a Term of Pan," a painting that had already entered the collection of London's National Gallery. The less lively aspect of inebriation is depicted on the reverse in a composition based on a Rubens painting "Drunken Silenus." Silenus, his body showing advanced signs of dissipation, requires the support of two satyrs to remain upright. Both paintings are captured in surprising detail--with a few loincloths added to preserve Victorian sensibilities.
Meigh frames his three dimensional interpretations of these masterpieces with an abundance of grape clusters and vines, adapting the mature grapevine for the handle and woven band around the foot.
|Date:||Registered September 1844|
|Dimensions:||Height 9 in.; diameter 5 1/4 in.; full width 7 1/6 in.|
|Condition:||Mold irregularities on spout rim
Meigh's adaptation of figures from the "Bacchanalian Revel" and "Silenus" was not only a c...
Meigh's adaptation of figures from the "Bacchanalian Revel" and "Silenus" was not only a convenient use of available material, but also identified him as a man of taste, conversant with the art appreciated by the cultured classes. In so doing, he separated himself from the working classes, identifying himself (and his product) as worthy of the segment of the public he saw as his customers.
Poussin's "Bacchanalian Revel" can still be seen in London's National Gallery; unfortunately, Rubens' "Drunken Silenus" was destroyed in Dresden in 1945.