The world of Dionysus.

Dionysus remains the most fascinating of all the Greek and Roman gods. His allure is based on the mystery and wildness found in the Dionysian ritual as well as the way it liberates from social constraints. Since classical times, the god of joy, intoxication and fertility has been depicted in victory processions with his ecstatic retinue of dancing satyrs and maenads. Worshiped in religious mystery cults by the Greeks and the Romans, who knew him as Bacchus, Dionysus symbolized the triumph of life in Renaissance art. For Baroque painters, he represented the joy of life; he embodied a natural sensuousness and he and his bride Ariadne are among the most frequently depicted lovers in paintings. In works from classical antiquity to the 20th century, the exhibition draws attention to the lively, boisterous world of Dionysus. No other subject demonstrates so clearly how the modern era was influenced by and made use of the imagery found in the ancient world.