- Reference number
- Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish)
- Diana and her Nymphs surprised by Satyrs
- 129,5 cm x 315,2 cm
- Figura Humana
- On display
- Colección Real (Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 137; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, piezas que siguen al casón, 1772, nº 137; Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 497; Academia, Sala Reservada, 1827, nº 87)
Diana the huntress is resting with her court of Nymphs in a clearing in the woods when she is attacked by a group of Satyrs.
Rubens turned this painting into a virtuoso exercise in composition. In the foreground, two volumes lead to the rest of the scene: on the left are the hunting trophies attained by the nymphs, and on the right, a reclining nymph with her back to the viewer, one of the most sensual nudes in the artist's entire oeuvre. In the middle ground, like a running frieze, are two groups of figures: the Nymphs who attempt to escape the attack of the Fauns.
This painting comes from Rubens' most sensual and poetic period, coinciding with the last decade of his life. Its open and very dynamic composition shows his mastery of movement. He painted it with the help of other artists, including Frans Snyders, for the animals, and Jan Wildens, for the landscape.
This is part of a series of eighteen paintings intended for the vaults of Madrid's Alc