The depicted subject was taken from Ovid's Metamorphosis. The Phrygian King Midas guides Silenus, who has lost his way, back to Bacchus for which he is to be rewarded. His wish is that everything he touches turn to gold. Half starved, he begs to be released from his fateful gift. - This is one of Poussin's early works, painted during his first years in Rome starting 1624.