- Reference number
- Bril, Paul; Rubens, Peter Paul
- Landscape with Psyche and Jupiter
- 1610; Ca. 1630
- 95 cm x 129 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Alcázar de Madrid, 1666, 1668, 1686; Palacio Real Nuevo, primera sala de la Furriera, 1747, nº 107; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, pieza segunda entablada, 1772, nº 107).
Transformed into an eagle, the god Jupiter helps young Psyche by carrying a goblet in his beak and filling it with water from the River Styx. Venus had punished Psyche by obliging her to do that work after catch her when she covertly watched Cupid, to whom she was supposed to be married.
This work was painted by Bril in Rome, without the figures and was originally a landscape, like many that painter sent to Flanders. Bril made a modern composition with a mid-horizon viewpoint, but with the dramatic flair traditional to Flemish landscape painting. He combined this with the luminosity and order that emerged at the beginning of Roman landscape painting, which was to become so successful in the following decades.
This painting belonged to Rubens, who added the figures, changing the painting's genre and making it into a mythological scene. This work is a clear example of Rubens custom of modifying many paintings that were already finished, both his own and those of others.
Following Rubens' death, this work was acquired by Felipe IV at the auction of the artist's belongings.