Inventory number
P01677
Author
Rubens, Peter Paul
Title
Mercury
Chronology
1636 - 1638
Technique
Oil
Support
Canvas
Dimensions
180 cm x 69 cm
School
Flemish
Theme
Mythology
On display
No
Provenance
Royal Collection (Torre de la Parada, El Pardo-Madrid, “cuarto bajo-pieza tercera”, 1703-1711, s.n.; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “antecámara del señor infante don Luis”, 1772, n. 1006; New Royal Palace, Madrid, “cuarto de la reina-antecámara”, 1794, n. 1006; Royal Palace, Madrid, “antecámara de la reina”, 1814-1818, n. 1006)

Mercury, the son of Jupiter and Maya, bears his characteristic attributes as the gods' messenger: a winged hat and shoes, as well as the caduceus, a hazel wand with two serpents wound around it, which Apollo gave him as a symbol of agreement and reconciliation.

The god's anatomy and the use of paint give this figure a sculptural appearance, showing Rubens capacity to depict on canvas some of the models of classical statuary he studied in Italy.

This work was painted for the Torre de la Parada, a small royal palace near Madrid, along with other mythological paintings also at the Prado Museum.

 
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