Picture of Diana’s Hunt, Domenikino

Picture of Diana’s Hunt, Domenikino
Picture of Diana's Hunt, Domenikino - 1

  • Posted by Domenikino (Domenico Dzampieri)
  • Museum: Borghese Gallery
  • Year: 1616-1617

Overview of the painting :

The Hunt of Diana – Domenikino (Domenico Dzampieri). 1616-1617. Oil on canvas. 225×320
   A pupil of the Bologna painting school, Domenikino (1581-1641) in his work addressed the legacy of Renaissance artists. And if they perceived antiquity as something living, then the academicists as the past “processing” by the Renaissance masters. Hence the presence in Domenikino’s works on mythological stories of the gaming principle, which in this case corresponds to the plot of the painting “Diana Hunt”. The painting was ordered by Cardinal Pietro Aldobrandini for a villa in Frascati.

   The artist depicted a nymph contest in the accuracy of shooting, similar to what was described in the Eneida of the ancient Roman poet Vergilia. One arrow was supposed to be noriacib in a tree, the second in a ribbon, and the third in a flying bird. Diana, demonstrating her skills, does not hide her joy, shaking her bow and quiver in the air, and the nymph on the left peels into the target, pulling the bow. Another nymph, in the center, restrains the greyhound, ready to rush at someone hiding behind the magnificent bushes. So in the picture there is a motive for the myth of Actaeon, who saw the bathed naked Diana, than angered her: she turned the hunter into a deer, and his own dogs tore it. But Domenikino has only a hint of myth and its dramatic conflict, so the atmosphere of the canvas remains easy.

   The playful spirit reigning in work is best expressed by two young nymphs in the foreground, sitting in a stream. One of them, who have already entered the time of bodily flowering, still looks childishly innocent at the viewer, the second with childish surprise points away. These two girlish figures connect the viewer with what is happening on the canvas.