Pittore romano del XVIII secolo

Pittore romano del XVIII secolo


Diana and the nymphs surprised by Actaeon

oil on copper, cm 76×59

This large elliptical work on copper depicts a mythological scene that was widespread across Europe in Baroque genre painting. It is the story of Actaeon and Diana. While bathing with her nymphs, the goddess was surprised by the young Actaeon who happened to pass by on a hunting trip. As soon as she noticed his presence, the angry Diana threw some water into his face, turning him into a deer. He was then pursued by his own dogs who tore him to pieces. 

Our copper piece shows the moment the goddess and her nymphs are surprised by the young hunter with the dog in the background, at the centre of the composition. 

The landscape, with the plants depicted in minute detail yet forming monumental scenery that adds a sense of perspective, recalls the typical work of Andrea Locatelli, a Roman painter who specialised in country views. Although pervaded by a strong classicism, the figures suggest an 18th-century artist from the Rome area with a strong decorative flair.