Bacchus and Ariadne

The princess Ariadne fell asleep on a beach after being abandoned by the hero Theseus. Bacchus, the god of wine, found her and fell instantly in love with her. In Dalou’s sculpture, the god is shown waking Ariadne with a tender kiss, as a faun mischievously tries to squeeze between them and steal attention by offering grapes. The theme derives from a classical myth, and the elements of the narrative reveal themselves as we walk around the sculpture.

Jules Dalou

French, 1838–1902

Bacchus and Ariadne



32 1/4 × 21 × 21 1/8 in. (81.9 × 53.3 × 53.7 cm)

Acquired by the Clark, 1996