Silenus and King Midas

mid 16th century
(Italian, c. 1510–after 1576)
(Italian, 1501–1547)
Support: Cream(1) laid paper
Sheet: 16.9 x 22.9 cm (6 5/8 x 9 in.); Platemark: 15.9 x 21.9 cm (6 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XV.136.89 ; Massari 97
Location: not on view
You can copy, modify, and distribute this work, all without asking permission. Learn more about CMA's Open Access Initiative.

Download, Print and Share


In Greek mythology Silenus was an old, drunken satyr (half-man, half-goat), who visited King Midas and was graciously received. In gratitude for Midas's generous hospitality, Dionysus, the god of wine and former pupil of Silenus, granted the king one wish. Midas asked for the power to turn everything that he touched into gold. However, he soon regretted his choice, for he was unable to eat food or drink water, as they also turned to gold. Finally, Dionysus released him from the enchantment.
Silenus and King Midas

Silenus and King Midas

mid 16th century

Giulio Bonasone, Perino del Vaga

(Italian, c. 1510–after 1576), (Italian, 1501–1547)
Italy, 16th century

Visually Similar Artworks

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.