This cheerful scene with satyrs (half man, half goat) and nude cupids pictures a bacchanal, a feast in honour of Bacchus, a popular theme in the seventeenth century. The creator of this piece, Gerard van Opstal, worked for a while in Antwerp. The ivory carving was probably made in this period. Carving away the background entirely was characteristic of his style of relief. It made the figures stand out all the more. The plump boys and the flabby bodies of the adult satyrs indicate the influence of the famous Antwerp painter Peter Paul Rubens.
c. 1640. Gerard van Opstal