Bacchus, God of wine for the Romans, Dionysus, God of wine for the Greek, was the son of Jupiter (Zeus) and Semele. Juno (Hera), to gratify her resentment against Semele, contrived a plan for her destruction. Jove took the infant Bacchus and gave him in charge to the Nysacan nymphs and for their care were rewarded by Jupiter. When Bacchus grew up he discovered the culture of the vine and the mode of extracting its precious juice. Juno struck him with madness but he was cured by the goddess Rhea who taught him how to show the people the cultivation of the vine.
The name Bacchus came into use in ancient Greece during the 5th century BC. It refers to the cries with which he was worshipped at the Bacchanalia, frenetic celebrations in his honor.
Caravaggio (1573-1610). Probably the most revolutionary artist of his time, the Italian painter Caravaggio abandoned the rules that had guided a century of artists before him. They had idealized the human and religious experience. He was born Michelangelo Merisi on Sept. 28, 1573, in Caravaggio, Italy. As an adult he would become known by the name of his birthplace. Orphaned at age 11, he was apprenticed to the painter Simone Peterzano of Milan for four years. At some time between 1588 and 1592, Caravaggio went to Rome and worked as an assistant to painters of lesser skill. About 1595 he began to sell his paintings through a dealer. The dealer brought Caravaggio to the attention of Cardinal Francesco del Monte.
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