Oil on canvas. Johann Justin Preissler was engaged in 1731 to make a ceiling painting for Count Christian zu Wied-Runkel. As a theme, he chose the apotheosis of Aeneas, from Ovid's "Metamorphoses." The painting shows the scene in which Venus asks her father Jupiter to elevate her son, the warrior hero Aeneas, to divine status. On the left, Aeneas kneels in vaguely classical armor. Beside him stands his mother Venus, commending him to her own father, Jupiter, who sits off to the right. To Jupiter's right sits his wife Juno, accompanied by her symbol, the peacock. This bird, prominently placed in the upper center of the painting, is a reference to the painting's owner – for it also happens to be the heraldic animal of the von Wied family. At the lower center kneels Cupid, aiming his arrow toward an imaginary viewer. Thus he establishes a connection between the portrayed world of the gods and the real world looking up at the ceiling.


  • Title: The Apotheosis of Aeneas
  • Creator: Johann Justin Preißler
  • Creator Lifespan: 1698/1771
  • Date: 1731/1732
  • Provenance: Kunstsammlungen der Stadt Nürnberg
  • Type: Painting

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