This brisé fan (one consisting of rigid sticks joined with a ribbon) illustrates a story from ancient Greek mythology. Dionysus, the god of wine, finds Ariadne on the Island of Naxos. Ariadne, the daughter of King Minos of Crete, has fled away with Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur, and been deserted by him on the island. Here she is discovered by Dionysus, who woos and marries her. Bacchanalian revelry and romance were popular subjects in the 18th-century. Here, the classical story is presented above an equally lighthearted chinoiserie scene. Both the ancient world and the Far East were rich sources of decorative imagery.
- Brisé fan, 1700–1725, possibly France or Netherlands, painted gilded ivory sticks with silk connecting ribbon, Gift of Anonymous Donor, 1952-161-198.