Bacchus, the God of Wine
Acrylic and oil on canvas
96 x 75 cm
Self-portrait after Caravaggio (c. 1598)
The template for this work is Bacchus, an oil painting by Italian Baroque master Caravaggio (Uffizi Gallery, Florence). The original demonstrates a masterful naturalistic portrayal of still life. Bacchus, the god of wine, is usually shown drunk. Caravaggio’s Bacchus is serene and self-containe. The painting shows Bacchus as a callow youth. The boy-god is swathed in autumnal vine leaves, draping over a thicket of black hair. His cheeks are plump and red. He is half-robed, clutching the black ribbon of his robe in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. He is reclined before a table bearing a carafe of wine and a basket of overripe fruit with pomegranate, pear, apple, peach, quince, fig, plum and grape. Waske used this masterpiece by Caravaggio and transformed it into his skillful old master painting style for the loving representation of himself.