Bacchus can be seen as the topic of intense, inward absorption in the figures of the inebriated wine god and the hungry satyr, both of whom can be seen reveling in their own states of sensual consumption as they cherish the food they stare at and hold in their grasp.

Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni was born on this day in 1475. In celebration, we’re sharing a free chapter via Stanford Scholarship Online from In Your Face: Professional Improprieties and the Art of Being Conspicuous in Sixteenth-Century Italy on Michelangelo’s Bacchus, the sculpture produced originally for one of the most powerful patrons in Rome, Cardinal Raffaele Riario.

Image credit: Michelangelo’s Bacchus by shakko. Creative Commons via Wikimedia Commons.

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