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Peter Paul Rubens

Drunken Silenus

Netherlands (1616)

Oil on wood, 212 x 214.5 cm.

Alte Pinakothek, Munich.

I think we all need to take a moment to appreciate just how INCREDIBLY upset this painting and Ruben’s apparent love for it have made the curator at

In Greek mythology Silenus is a rural god, one of the retinue of Bacchus, a gay, fat old drunkard who was yet wise and had the gift of prophecy.

In Rubens’ painting he is shown drunkenly tottering, his belly swollen with meat and drink, and supported by a disparate collection of dotards, drunkards, blacks, children and young women. The careless inebriation of this bacchanal is expressed by a thicker touch that conveys the unwieldy weight of the drinkers’ gait.

The composition was originally conceived with half-length figures, but was later enlarged by Rubens himself. The painting hung in Rubens’ house.

Ha ha ha ha ha…my goodness. There is only a single Black man in this painting, but perhaps the incredible force with which he is pinching Silenus’s “gay, fat old drunk[ard]” ass* is enough to chagrin this curator into thinking there must be somehow more than one?

Apparently the thought of Rubens staring at this piece and smiling every morning while eating his breakfast sausage was just too much for some people.

As you may have noticed by now, Rubens adored drawing and painting Black people and included them in many, many of his paintings, as well as having done studies, portraits, sketches, and other works of art used for his workshop and apprentices. Many of his works he kept for himself in his personal collection.

*The pinch is actually an important part of the original story: Silenus is awakened from a drunken stupor and bound with his own garlands by nymphs and satyrs and made to sing a song of creation and the forces of nature for an important ceremonial dance.

I truly hope you understand how happy this painting makes me. I want one for my own (nonexistent) breakfast nook. This subject is also referred to as “The Triumph of Silenus”.

I can’t tell which is more hilarious; the dude grabbing Silenus’ booty or the girl behind him. Her face is killing me XD


forever rolling my eyes at those who think mothers shouldn’t publicly breastfeed and lgbt couples shouldn’t show affection in front of others because it’s “inappropriate” and will “traumatize their children” yet they’ll happily buy their 4 year old daughter a “spank me…harder!” shirt or show their 2 year old son a playboy to “teach him how to be a ladies’ man” like wtf r u fckin srs!


  • me:

    whats your opinion on tampons

  • little brother:

    they're little fuzzy sticks on strings

  • me:

    then you are ultimately more mature than most boys

  • little brother:


  • me:

    for some reason tampons are gross and taboo just cuz they go in a vagina

  • little brother:

    well so does a penis and boys never stop talking about those

  • me:

  • little brother:

  • me:

    that is a fantastic point

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