Fêtes and Folly: Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne

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Dosso Dossi, Triumph of Bacchus and Ariadne, 1514
By SAI GONDI

Though this work dates back to 1514, its modern prevalence to the many joys and regrets of Spring Break can not go unnoticed. The actual painting, done by Dosso Dossi, depicts a youthful Bacchus traveling with Ariadne, his special lady friend, and the rest of his squad. In mythology, Bacchus is the god of wine, so you already know his party train's looking to have some fun. Imagine them as a group of college students freshly arrived at some cheap hotel or resort during their break. Bacchus, the frat lord and ring leader, has assembled his companions and leads them towards the overly-crowded beaches blasting with music from the early 2000s. The food elevated high in the air symbolizes the needless desire to care about their health and the time to splurge. Its Spring Break, why would they care? They've been waiting for this the second their last Spring Break ended.

Their general readiness to party shows that nothing, not even the dark clouds in the background, can bring them down. The male on the far left who already requires assistance symbolizes that one person who really has no self-control upon arriving within the first hour. Also, the child should not be there. I mean, who lets their kid hang out with the god of wine? He should be at home eating Coco Puffs and watching cartoons. Anyway, that red, devil looking guy separated from his fellow friends poses as that one buddy we all have who forgets sunscreen and burns within seconds of exposure to the sun. Everyone else though seems ready to have fun and make poor decisions. But hey, for them its Spring Break, and you only live once.. unless you believe in reincarnation.

*** Editor's Note: Students developed the topic of Fêtes and Folly to chronicle elegant celebrations, bad dates, late nights, or other things related to that time in Spring where barbaric yawps can be heard from backyards, beaches, or the more familiar rooftop. Enjoy their revelry, cheeky overstatement, and occasional tales of ribaldry over the next couple of weeks.

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