Portrait of Three Children as Ceres Ganymede and Diana

Nicolaes Maes1673

Haggerty Museum of Art

Haggerty Museum of Art
Milwaukee, United States

The Dutch painter Nicolaes Maes was a master of domestic scenes, or “genre paintings,” and portraits. Between 1648/50 and 1653, Maes worked in Rembrandt’s studio in Amsterdam before returning to his native Dordrecht. In the mid-1650s, Maes was recognized for the expressive poses and gestures that he gave his figures, and for the variety of anecdotal details found in his paintings. From the 1660s until his death, he worked exclusively as a portraitist, and his services were highly sought after. During this period Maes painted several group portraits of children and families, often—as seen here—depicting his sitters as mythological figures. The youngest child is Ceres, daughter of Saturn and Ops and the goddess of grain and motherly love. Ceres is shown clutching the leg of Ganymede, a handsome Trojan prince who was carried to Mt. Olympus by Zeus in the form of an eagle. To the right stands Diana, goddess of the moon and the hunt, accompanied by her hunting dog and attributes: a bow, a quiver, and arrows.


  • Title: Portrait of Three Children as Ceres Ganymede and Diana
  • Creator: Nicolaes Maes
  • Date Created: 1673
  • Provenance: Museum purchase from the estate of Lillian Rojtman Berkman. Collection of the Haggerty Museum of Art, Marquette University.
  • Subject Keywords: Permanent Collection
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Creator Details: Dutch, 1634 - 1693
  • Accession Number: 2005.4

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