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Diana and a Nymph Discovered by a Satyr
Dyck van, Anton (Circle of)
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Dyck van, Anton (Circle of)

Diana and a Nymph Discovered by a Satyr

1622 - 1627. Oil on canvas, 144 x 163 cm.

From the 1857 Inventory of the Royal Museum through 2002, this work was listed as Diana and Endymion Discovered by a Satyr, but L. Ruiz has demonstrated that the scene is Diana and a Nymph Discovered by a Satyr, as the figure sleeping alongside Diana is female. Her body, completely covered by a bluish tunic, and her pearl necklace in no way recall Endymion’s masculine appearance. The satyr was a natural inhabitant of the woods in shady, fertile Arcadia -not so, Cupid, the frequent witness to Diana’s relation with Endymion. In this scene, night falls after a fruitful day of hunting- numerous pieces of game are stacked nearby- and Diana sleeps alongside one of the nymphs from the entourage assigned her by her father, Jupiter. This straightforward and frequently depicted episode is the subject of the present work. And even the presence of the satyr -possibly the lecherous god of the forests, Pan- comes as no surprise here, as he always hovered around the nymphs. This satyr’s expressive left hand is central to the narration, expressing his desires and his leading role in the scene. He is not only pointing at Diana, who may be the ultimate goal of this satyr’s desires, but also at the quiver, the bow and the dog- the goddess’s inseparable attributes and those that make her most feared and powerful. With the dog asleep and the weapons lying in the corner, Diana’s nudity conveys a sense of vulnerability. Both she and her companion seem accessible, and that quality is what makes this scene doubly disturbing, both because of the satyr’s presence and for the viewer, whom the satyr involves in the scene by obliging him to share the enjoyment of Diana’s sensual nudity. For the composition of this canvas, the artist drew on important Italian precedents, especially from Venice, and works by Titian and Tintoretto are always mentioned in that regard. But in his approach to a mythological subject of these characteristics, the Flemish painter must have resorted to an image oft repeated in classical iconography: the story of sleeping Ariadne discovered by Pan. That vision was certainly a part of Renaissance and Baroque artists’ imagery, especially when they addressed compositions requiring similar parameters.

At least one of the reasons for this painting’s erroneous title is the fact that such titles generally coincide with some tradition, especially in the greater part of the works that the Museo del Prado received from the Royal Collections. Here, the error began with the museum’s earliest inventories, as earlier references to it have no doubt about the mythological subject matter portrayed therein (Text drawn from Ruiz, L.: "Diana y una ninfa sorpredidos por un sátiro, y no Diana y Endimión", Boletín del Museo del Prado, XX, 38, 2002, pp. 85-89).

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Technical data

Inventory number
P01492
Author
Dyck van, Anton (Circle of)
Title
Diana and a Nymph Discovered by a Satyr
Date
1622 - 1627
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimension
High/Height: 144 cm.; Width: 163 cm.
Provenance
Royal Collection (Royal Alcázar, Madrid, Paintings found in the Palace Vaults, 1734, no. 191(?); New Palace, Madrid, modern paintings-room next to the Jewelry room, 1747, no. 421; Buen Retiro Palace, Madrid, quarters of the Infante don Luis-paintings taken down, 1772, no. 421; Buen Retiro Palace, 1794, no. 1348; Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, Madrid, 1804, no. 74; Royal Academy of Fine Arts of San Fernando, 1827, no. 74; Royal Museum of Paintings on the death of Ferdinand VII, Madrid, Reserved Room, 1834, no. 52).

Bibliography +

Inventario de las Pinturas del Museo Hecho a la Muerte del R, [s.n, Madrid, 1834, pp. 52, n. 74.

Catálogo del Museo del Prado, 1854-1858, pp. n. 1685.

Madrazo, P. de, Catálogo descriptivo e histórico del Museo del Prado de Madrid, Madrid, 1872-1907, pp. n. 1336.

Lefort, P., Les Musees de Madrid. Le Prado, San Fernando, L'Armeria, Gazette des BeauxArts, Bruxelles, 1896, pp. 99.

Cust, L., Anthony Van Dyck. An Historical Study of His Life and Works, George Bell and Sons, London, 1900, pp. 71, 241.

Schaëffer, E., Van Dyck. Des meisters gemälde in 537 abbildungen, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Sttutgart-Leipzig, 1909, pp. 497, n. 60.

Haberditzl, F. M., Kunstgeschichtlicher Anzeigen, Berlín, 1909, pp. 62.

Glück, G., Van Dyck. Des meisters gemälde in 537 abbildungen, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart-Leipzig, 1909, pp. 60.

Madrazo, P. de, Catálogo descriptivo e histórico del Museo del Prado de Madrid, Madrid, 1910-1985, pp. n. 1492.

Beroqui, Pedro (m. 1958)), Adiciones y correcciones al catálogo del Museo del Prado /, [s.n.], Valladolid, 1917, pp. 217-218.

Beroqui, Pedro (m. 1958)), Adiciones y correcciones al catálogo del Museo del Prado /, [s.n.], Valladolid, 1917, pp. 198.

Allende-Salazar, Juan., Retratos del Museo del Prado: identificación y rectificaciones, Julio Cosano, Madrid, 1919, pp. 222.

Hoogewerff, G. J., De twee reizen van Cosimo de Medici door de Nederlanden, Werken uitgegeven door het historisch Genootschap te Utrecht, 41, 1919, pp. 332-336.

Mayer, A. L., Meisterwerke Der Gemäldesammlung des Prado in Madrid, Franz Hanfstaengl, München, 1922, pp. 276.

Mayer, A. L., Meisterwerke der Gemäldesammlung des Prado in Madrid, Franz Hanfstaengl, München, 1922, pp. 278.

Prims, F., Rubens en zijn eeuw, Brussel, 1927, pp. 262.

Glück, G., Van Dyck. Des Meisters Gemälde in 571 Abbildungen, Deutsche Verlags-Anstalt, Stuttgart-Berlin, 1931, pp. 440.

Tormo y Monzó, E., El centenario de Van Dyck en la patria de Velázquez, Boletín de la Sociedad Española de Excursiones, XLIX, 1941, pp. 157.

Bottineau, Y., L'Alcazar de Madrid et l'inventairee de 1686. Aspects de las cour d'Espagne au XVIIe siècle, Bulletin Hispanique, LX, 1958, pp. 298, n. 521.

Vey, H., Die Zeichnungen Anton Van Dycks, Arcade, Bruselas, 1962, pp. 199, n. 132, lám. 173.

Damm, M. M., Van Dyck's mithological paintings. Tesis Doctoral, University of Michigan, Michigan, 1966, pp. 136-138, n. 29.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1972.

Díaz Padrón, Matías (1935-), Museo del Prado : catálogo de pinturas : escuela flamenca :, I, Museo del Prado: Patrimonio Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975, pp. 113, n. 1492.

Larsen, E., La Vie les Ouvrages et les Eleves de Van Dyck, Académie Royale de Belgique, Bruxelles, 1975, pp. 85.

Lafuente Ferrari, E., El Prado. La pintura nórdica, Madrid, 1977, pp. 246.

McGrath, E., Pan and the Wool, The Ringling Museum of Art, Madrid, 1983, pp. 58-69.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: catálogo de las pinturas, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1985, pp. 200.

Fernandez Miranda y Lozana, Fernando, Inventarios Reales Carlos III 1789-1790, Patrimonio Nacional, Madrid, 1988, pp. 347, n. 3611.

Larsen, E., The paintings of Anthony van Dyck, II, Luca Verlag, Freren, 1988, pp. 296, n. 746.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, I, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1990, pp. 451.

Díaz Padrón, Matías (1935-), El siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado : catálogo razonado, Prensa Iberica, Barcelona, 1995, pp. 468-469.

Gritsai, N., Anthony van Dyck, Parkstone, Aurora, Bournemouth, St. Peter, 1996, pp. 88, n. 83.

Burke, M. B.; Cherry, P., Collections of paintings in Madrid, 1601-1755, The J. Paul Getty Trust, Michigan, 1997, pp. 897, n. 45.

Portús, Javier, La sala reservada del Museo del Prado y el coleccionismo de, Museo del Prado, Madrid, 1998, pp. 22-23, 122, 319, n. 52.

Ruíz Gómez, L., Diana y una ninfa sorprendidas por un sátiroy no Diana y Endimión. A propósito del tema y título de una obra de Anton van Dyck en el Museo del Prado, Boletín del Museo del Prado, XX, 2002, pp. 85, 90.

Barnes, S. J., Van Dyck. A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings, Yale University Press, New Haven, 2004, pp. 167, n. II.23.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Las aves en el Museo del Prado, SEO/BirdLife, 2010, pp. 187, 223.

Díaz Padrón, M, Van Dyck en España, II, Prensa Ibérica, Madrid, 2012, pp. 440-445, n. 48.

Greub, Thierry, Der Platz des Bildes und der 'Platz des Königs', Diego Velázquez 'Las Meninas' im Sommer-Arbeitszimmer Philipps IV, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, Heft 3-4, 2015, pp. 441-487 [468 f.20].

Other inventories +

Inv. Alcázar, Madrid, 1734. Núm. ¿191?.
Pinturas que se hallaban en las Bóbedas de Palacio [...] 191 / Otro de dos varas de ancho y vara y dos tercias de alto con marco dorado y tallado de Diana dormida con los Satiros copia de Van Dyck

Inv. Felipe V, Palacio Nuevo, 1747. Núm. 421.
Pinturas modernas Como entradas y fabricadas en el Reynado del Señor don Phelipe quinto que esta en Gloria [...] Pieza que linda con el Guardajoyas [...] 421 / Otro de Diana dormida con los satiros de dos varas de largo y vara y dos tercias de caida copia de Van Dick en quinientos reales

Inv. Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1772. Núm. 421.
Quarto del Infante don Luis - de las apedas [...] {15178} 421 / Diana dormida con vnos satiros que la acechan dos varas de largo y una y dos tercias de caida

Inv. Testamentaría Carlos III, Buen Retiro, 1794. Núm. 1248.
Antonio Van Dick = Diana y Endimion durmiendo y un satiro apuntando con el dedo vara y tres quartas de alto dos varas de ancho 5000

Academia, Sala Reservada, 1827. Núm. 74.
Diana y Endimion dormidos. / [Autor] Van Dyck / [Alto] 5 [pies] 3 [pulgs.] / [Ancho] 5 [pies] 10 [pulgs.]

Inv. Testamentaría Fernando VII, Real Museo, Sala Reservada, 1834. Núm. 52.
Cincuenta y dos. Diana dormida al lado de una Ninfa, y un Sátiro la sorprende. / Van Dyck. Flamenca / L. / 9220

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1854-1858. Núm. 1685.

Inv. Real Museo, 1857. Núm. 1685.
Van-dyck / 1685. Diana y Endimion. / Un sátiro sorprende a los amantes dormidos bajo un grupo de árboles. En primer termino se ven animales muertos y arneses de caza. / Alto 5 pies, 2 pulg; ancho 5 pies, 10 pulg.

Catálogo Museo del Prado, 1872-1907. Núm. 1336.

Exhibitions +

Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado
Williamstown MA
12.06.2016 - 10.10.2016

Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado
Williamstown MA
12.06.2016 - 10.10.2016

Splendor, Myth and Vision: Nudes from the Prado
Williamstown. Massachusetts.
11.06.2016 - 10.10.2016

Location +

(Temporary Exhibition)

Update date: 30-06-2016 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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