Pair of Vases with Bacchic Subjects

Claude Michel, called Clodion (1738–1814)
Pair of Vases with Bacchic Subjects, c. 1770–75
Terracotta
10 5/8 in. (27 cm)
Private Collection

On view April–September 2014

Clodion evokes the visual language of classical triumphal processions in these relief vases modeled during or shortly after his time in Italy. Reclining in mirroring poses on chariots pulled by teams of putti are Silenus, the drunken companion of Bacchus, and a female Satyr, whose furry legs identify her as half goat. The small-scale works emulate the form of the monumental marble Medici Vase, an esteemed antiquity in Rome. Clodion’s depictions of Bacchic revelry in warm-hued terracotta invigorate the classical vase format and subject for the delight of learned eighteenth-century audiences.