Jacob Jordaens

Infant Jupiter Fed by the Goat Amalthea

Infant Jupiter Fed by the Goat Amalthea
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Jacob Jordaens
Drawings, Black chalk, pen and brush and brown wash, with blue and pink gouache, 37x46 cm
Origin: Flanders, Circa 1640

This drawing was produced as a modello or detailed sketch for a now lost painting. The subject comes from Ovid's Fasti . Cronus, father of Jupiter, was warned that one of his children would dethrone him and resolved to prevent this by eating each of them as they were born. Rhea, Saturn's wife, sought to save the child Jupiter by giving birth secretly on the Island of Crete and giving her husband a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes to eat in place of the child. Jupiter grew up on the slopes of Mount Ida, where the local nymphs fed him on honey from wild bees and milk from the goat Amalthea.

The scene before us is of a purely pastoral nature. In the foreground is the young Jupiter's blanket lying abandoned on the ground, while Jupiter himself sucks happily at the goat's milk. Attendant satyrs and nymphs assist in various ways.

Even in this graphic sheet Jordaens's monumental style, so clear in his paintings, makes itself felt.

Personage: Jupiter
Style: Baroque
Source of entry: Collection of Count Cobenzl, Brussels, 1768
Theme: Religion and Mythology of Antiquity

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