Ceres and Bacchus

Ferdinando Tacca (Florence 1619–1686 Florence)
Ceres and Bacchus
Cast probably ca. 1635–40
17 3/4 in. (45.3 cm)

The smiling goddess of the harvest and the lord of the vine stride forward, heralding the promise of abundance, revelry, and love. Tacca’s statuette, like those by Piamontini in this gallery, exemplifies the novel subjects and immaculate craftsmanship that are characteristic of the finest Florentine Baroque bronzes. Ceres and Bacchus are united by their gaze and affectionate embrace and by the formal repetition of their graceful linear contours.

In Cy Twombly’s untitled “Chalkboard” painting, lines drawn in continuously curving loops create a syncopated effect that harmonizes with the elegant rhythm of Tacca’s figures. The subdued palette of this and the other two canvases displayed here also draws attention to the often overlooked beauty of the varied colors of bronze sculptures.