Hans Makart (1840–1884) is considered one of the most famous painters of Historicism, who shaped the period known as “Ringstrasse era” in Vienna unlike any other artist. Having attended the preparatory class for painting at the Vienna Academy during the summer semester of 1858, the Salzburg-born painter turned his back on the capital and residential city, as he was disappointed with the Academy’s teaching methods. It wasn’t until he entered Karl von Piloty’s (1826–1886) class at the Munich Academy that Makart embarked on a path towards oil painting. Under the aegis of this “innovator of German history painting”, as Piloty was called, Makart was able to develop his coloristic talent. Early on, he developed a penchant for large-scale formats. The small oil study Bacchanal, measuring only 22.5 x 71 centimeters, was likely created shortly before Makart left Piloty’s studio in 1866. The lunette-shaped format suggests that it was executed in connection with a commission for a wall decoration.