Landscape with Bacchus and Ceres

WAG 1313


This painting depicts figures from Roman mythology. Bacchus, god of wine, can be identified on the left, clad in vines and collecting grapes. The figure on the right is Ceres, goddess of wheat and fertility. She wears a cornflower wreath and holds a basket of bread. The nymph and goat-legged satyrs often appear in mythological landscapes such as this one. X-rays show that several different compositions were painted on the canvas before this one. The heads of three women from a previous image are still visible on the right, emerging from the landscape. This painting is from Poussin’s early career, when he frequently reused canvases as a young and poor artist.