Earth is portrayed as a nursing mother. On her head is a crown shaped like a city wall. She is surrounded by animals: below her, a serpent and a fox sleep in holes underground; beside her is a lion and in the background a monkey on the back of a camel.

Additional information:
The breastfeeding woman symbolises the fertility of the Earth. The crown and lion allude to the earth goddess Cybele, who can be seen in the north gallery. Of the four elements, earth is the heaviest, followed by water, air and fire.


  • Title: Element Earth Eastside
  • Creator: Artus Quellinus
  • Creator Lifespan: 1609 - 1668
  • Creator Nationality: Flemish
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Antwerp
  • Creator Birth Place: Antwerp
  • Date Created: 1655
  • Display: Royal Palace Amsterdam
  • Type: Relief
  • Rights: © Stichting Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam. Photo: Wim Ruigrok
  • Medium: Marble

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