- Reference number
- Rubens, Peter Paul (Flemish)
- Vulcan forging Jupiter's Lightening Bolts
- 182,5 cm x 99,5 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Torre de La Parada, El Pardo-Madrid, cuarto bajo-pieza cuarta, 1703-1711, s.n.; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, antecámara del infante don Gabriel, 1772, nº 1005; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, cuarto del infante don Antonio-antecámara, 1794, nº 1005; Palacio Real, Madrid, habitación del infante don Carlos-sexta pieza, 1814-1818, nº 1005).
Vulcan, the son of Jupiter and Juno, is detested by the gods because of his deformity. Exiled to Hades, he is identified with blacksmiths.
Rubens shows him making lightening bolts for Jupiter with the aid of Cyclops, a giant with only one eye. The shield, ax and cuirass on the ground allude to the weapons he made for Achilles at the request of the latter's mother, Thetis.
This work is one of many paintings on mythological subjects made for the Torre de la Parada, a small royal palace near Madrid. Here, the artists based his work on models from sixteenth-century Flemish paintings, including those by Marteen van Heemskerck (1494-1574).