Medea Rejuvenating Aeson

Corrado Giaquinto Italian

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 643

An inscription on the back of this canvas identifies it as a sketch executed by Giaquinto when he worked in Madrid as a designer for the Royal Tapestry Manufactory of Santa Barbara. The tapestry, probably destined for a Spanish royal residence, was never produced. The subject is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses and depicts the sorceress Medea in the foreground, casting spells to rejuvenate the body of her husband’s father, Aeson. Two altars burn with sacrifices, including a black sheep. Medea has also summoned the moon, represented by the goddess Diana, identified by the crescent moon on her head.

Medea Rejuvenating Aeson, Corrado Giaquinto (Italian, Molfetta 1703–1766 Naples), Oil on canvas

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