Inventory number
Dyck, Anton van (Circle)
Diana and Endymion surprised by a Satyr
144 cm x 163 cm
On display
Colección Real (¿Real Alcázar, Madrid, Pinturas que se hallaban en las "Bóbedas" de Palacio, 1734, nº191?; Palacio Nuevo, Madrid, pinturas modernas como entradas y fabricadas en el Reynado de Felipe V, 1747, nº 421; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, cuarto del infante don Luis-pinturas apeadas, 1772, nº 421; Palacio del Buen Retiro, 1794, nº 1248; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, Madrid, 1804, nº74; Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando, 1827, nº74; Museo Real de Pinturas a la muerte de Fernando VII, Madrid, Sala Reservada, 1834, nº52)

Endymion, son of Aethlius and grandson of Jupiter was long enamored of the Moon (which is identified with Diana or Selene) but was continually rejected by her. Finally, his insistence bore fruit and he consummated his love. The mythological story doesn't come from Ovid, who was a customary source for mythological paintings, but instead from texts by Pliny, Sapho and Lucianus. The author depicts the end of this story when, after consummating their love, the couple sleeps placidly in the woods, where they are discovered by a satyr.

The representation is steeped in poetry, with light bathes the beautiful body of Diana, who is identifiable by the moon in her diadem and by elements alluding to her condition as goddess of the hunt: a dog, a bow and arrows, and the pieces in the lower right corner of the composition, which are, themselves, a magnificent still life.

The painting was highly influenced by the sensuality of Italian mythological painting and is based on models by Tintoretto (1519-1594), although it also draws on certain engravings by the Flemish artist, Aendrick Goltzius (1558-1617).

This work was first documented in Spain in the 1686 inventory of Madrid's Alcázar Palace.

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