Pair of Italian Micromosaic Panels of Bacchus and a Bacchante
Manner of Giacomo Raffaelli, probably Roman, 19th century
Each depicted with a wreath of grape clusters and vines, Bacchus draped in a leopard skin and the Bacchante in a blonde fur. Sight height 14 1/2 inches (36.3 cm), width 11 3/4 inches (30 cm).
A similar pair of panels of the same size sold Bonhams, London, December 18, 2020, lot 71.
A pair of similar panels are in the collection of the National Trust, England on view at The Argory, County Armagh, Ireland, NT #564857
The creation of images in micromosaic was long a tradition of Roman craftsmen whose work in ancient times adorned buildings across the Empire. The 16th century saw a revival of the work as used to decorate St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. The work created by this great project attracted the very best artisans who set up workshops that flourished making micromosaic panels such as these which were snapped up by aristocrats enjoying the European Grand Tour. The image of Bacchus and a Bacchante would undoubtedly appealed to a traveler as a souvenir of enjoyment of the pleasures of his travels.
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