“Bacchantes,” by Jacques-Philippe Caresme (The Savoy, vol 2)

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This image is called “Bacchantes,” by Jacques-Philippe Caresme. It is included in The Savoy volume 2 (1896) and is a reprint of the original watercolour painting from 1781.

“The Bacchantes” After a watercolour drawing by PH Caresme, The Savoy, Volume 2, 1896.

“Bacchantes” adds to the theme of sexuality in the The Savoy because of the origin story of the painting’s subject. The painting is of the Ancient Greek play, “The Bacchae,” and is a complex retelling of a Greek myth, in which Dionysus, the God of wine, prophecy, religious ecstasy, and fertility tries to avenge his legacy. The plot of the play follows Dionysus as he terrorizes the city of Thebes with a band of Bacchants, to punish the citizens for treating his family poorly and not properly worshipping him. The Bacchantes are his followers, and are the male looking figures you see in the image.

This image adds to the theme of sexuality due to what Dionysus represents as a God of pleasure, and the sexual punishment that his Bacchantes deliver to the citizens of Thebes.

By Vanessa Mainella


Euripedes. “The Internet Classics Archive: The Bacchantes by Euripides.” The Internet Classics Archive | The Bacchantes by Euripides, Internet Classics Archive, classics.mit.edu/Euripides/bacchan.html.