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Diana, goddess of hunting, chastity and the moon, fell in love with the shepherd Endymion, whose youth and eternal sleep have made him an artistic symbol of beauty’s timelessness. Solimena was greatly influenced by the dramatic use of light and the dark shadows in the Neapolitan paintings of artists such as Preti. He displays this personal use of light in the moonlight bathing Endymion’s handsome body, reinforcing its muscularity and emphasising Diana’s look of infatuation, as cupid waits to loose his arrow.

Details

  • Title: Diana and Endymion
  • Creator: Francesco Solimena
  • Date Created: Between 1705-1710
  • tag / style: Diana; Endymion; cupid; bow; arrow; Francesco Solimena; goddess; shepherd; moonlight; Baroque; mythological; Neapolitan
  • Physical Dimensions: w2328 x h1790 cm (Without frame)
  • Artist biographical information: Francesco Solimena was the son of the painter and poet Angelo Solimena and Marta Grisignano. Solimena, Naples’ leading artist of the time, was sought by patrons throughout Europe. He was highly prolific and created many frescoes, altarpieces, mythological paintings and portraits. He also operated a large studio with pupils including the Scottish artist Allan Ramsay. This painting was the subject of an ‘Artwork Highlight’ talk at the Walker Art Gallery in 1999. To read the notes from this talk, including more information about the artist, please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/picture-of-month/displaypicture.asp?venue=2&id=155
  • Additional artwork information: This painting was the subject of an ‘Artwork Highlight’ talk at the Walker Art Gallery in 1999. To read the notes from this talk please follow this link: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/picture-of-month/displaypicture.asp?venue=2&id=155
  • Type: Oil on canvas
  • Rights: Purchased with the assistance of the Art Fund in 1966

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