Peter Paul Rubens, 1638-40 - Bacchus. Hermitage. Created in the last years of Rubens' life. Bacchus is depicted as a grossly obese man, surrounded by a satyr, a maenad and putti. The natural, sketchy technique, enabled the artist to create a genuine sense of debauchery, or bacchanalia. This is a paean to human flesh. According to Rubens' nephew, Philip, this was not a commissioned work, and the artist kept it in his studio till the end of his life.
'Scene at the Inn' by Adriaen Brouwer. Brouwer (1605-1638) was a Flemish genre painter active in Flanders and the Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century. He became a student of Frans Hals at Haarlem. His works are typically detailed and small, and often adopt themes of debauchery, drunkenness and foolishness in order to explore human emotions, expressions and responses to pain, fear and the senses. Both Rubens and Rembrandt owned a number of his works.