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Landscape with Mercury and Herse
Wildens, Jan; Francken II, Frans
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Wildens, Jan
Antwerp, 1585 - Antwerp, 1653
Francken II, Frans
Antwerp, 1581 - Antwerp, 1642

Landscape with Mercury and Herse

Ca. 1635. Oil on panel.
Not on display

In The Metamorphosis, the poet Ovid very precisely describes the moment when Mercury, on his way to Athens, met a group of Nymphs carrying offerings to the goddess Palas. Mercury immediately fell in love with Herse, the most beautiful of all. The canvas, with an extremely horizontal format, sets the scene in a wooded landscape where the nymphs chat and play on their way towards the temple in the background. Mercury appears in full flight on the right, over a river whose prolongation opens the perspective. He has already been trapped by the beauty of Herse. Francken´s figures, with their elegant movements and curved forms, reveal the artist´s almost mannerist tendency. Wildens´ landscape is marked by two thick trees that divide the composition, reflecting his skill at perspective. Very notable here is the warm light that floods the scene from the background, fruit of the influence of Italian landscape painting.

Technical data

Inventory number
Wildens, Jan; Francken II, Frans
Landscape with Mercury and Herse
Ca. 1635
Height: 73 cm; Width: 210 cm
Bequest of Pedro Fernández Durán y Bernaldo de Quirós, 1931

Bibliography +

Díaz Padrón, Matías, Museo del Prado: catálogo de pinturas. Escuela flamenca, Museo del Prado; Patrimonio Nacional de Museos, Madrid, 1975.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, Pedro Pablo Rubens (1577-1640): exposición homenaje, Ministerio de Cultura, Dirección General de Patrimonio, 1977.

Adler, Wolfgang, Jan Wildens. Der Landschaftsmitarbeiter des Rubens, Graf Klenau, Fridingen, 1980, pp. 106.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, La Escuela Flamenca del Siglo XVII, Ediciones Alfiz, Madrid, 1983, pp. 78.

Díaz Padrón, Matías, El siglo de Rubens en el Museo del Prado: catálogo razonado, Prensa Ibérica, Barcelona, 1996, pp. 1588.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Museo del Prado: inventario general de pinturas, III, Museo del Prado, Espasa Calpe, Madrid, 1996.

Museo Nacional del Prado, Las aves en el Museo del Prado, SEO/BirdLife, 2010, pp. 145,223.

Other inventories +

Inv. Nuevas Adquisiciones (iniciado en 1856). Núm. 1631.
1631 / Autor. J. Wildens y Francken / Asunto. Mercurio y Herse / Nº Catalogo. 2733 [Notas al margen izquierdo] Legado de Fernandez Duran en 1930.... 79

Inscriptions +

Inscribed in black. Front, lower right corner

Update date: 04-11-2021 | Registry created on 28-04-2015

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