Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 616

Typical of Rembrandt’s domestication of ancient myth, this depiction of the Roman goddess of war may have reflected the Dutch readiness for conflict during the Eighty Years’ War with Spain. Rather than reaching for an idealized source in ancient sculpture, Rembrandt based his depiction of the deity on a contemporary woman. The glittering surfaces of Bellona’s armor and fearsome shield allowed the young painter to give a bravura display of his skill.

Bellona, Rembrandt (Rembrandt van Rijn) (Dutch, Leiden 1606–1669 Amsterdam), Oil on canvas

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