Atalanta and Meleager

Peter Paul Rubens Flemish

Not on view

Like many of Rubens’s other works, this painting illustrates a story from the Metamorphoses of the Roman poet Ovid (completed A.D. 8). Meleager has killed a monstrous boar and presents its head to Atalanta, with whom he has fallen in love. In the background is a snake-haired Fury—a reference to the subsequent feuding over the boar’s hide that will lead to Meleager’s death. Although a splendid example of Rubens’s depiction of substantial, fleshy bodies, the picture is not in uniformly good condition. Parts are abraded and the drapery over the right shoulder of Meleager has been reconstructed on the basis of a workshop copy.

Atalanta and Meleager, Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, Siegen 1577–1640 Antwerp), Oil on wood

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