Monday, October 10, 2016

Why are all these 16C-18C ladies depicted as Diana Roman Goddess of the Hunt?


We recently looked at a few of these portraits of costumed huntresses with their their faithful dogs, & the why question came up. Early European portrait artists painted their contemporaries as allegories.  Often painters would put the faces of their patrons on the bodies of Christian saints, whom they had been commissioned to portray. These came to be called donor portraits. As years passed, allegorical portraits remained popular, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or poetic muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting.

Jan Mytens (Dutch artist, 1614-1670) Lady as Diana

In Roman mythology, Diana was the goddess of the hunt; the moon; & friend of wild animals, whom Diana could talk to & control.  Artists often depicted Diana wearing a classic tunic & sandals.  Some painted her holding a hunting spear or a hunting horn with a bow & a quiver on her shoulder.  Many Diana's were accompanied by friendly deer or hunting dogs.  Like Venus, she was portrayed as beautiful & youthful. Early artists sometimes depicted Diana wearing a crescent moon as a hair decoration & sometimes wearing an animal-skin wrap.


 Jan Mytens (Dutch artist, 1614-1670) Lady as Diana



1550 Meister der Schule von Fontainebleau Diana the Huntress. This early Diana carries a bow & quiver & travels with her dog.  But, as for clothing, a few yards of cloth seems enough.



1590 Ambroise Dubois (Flemish-born French artist, 1542-43–1614-15) Gabrielle d'Estrees as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.  She has dogs, deer, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.



 1630 Claude Deruet (French artist, 1588–1660) Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse as Diana the Huntress.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.


1635 Claude Deruet (French artist, 1588–1660) or Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692)  Portrait of a Lady as Diana.   She has a quiver & a crescent moon in her hair.


1640 Joseph Werner the Elder (Swiss artist, 1600s) Young Lady as Diana with a hunting spear & some very impractical shoes. The slit dress is also quite a surprise.



1640s Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana carrying a hunting spear.



 1640 Willem van Honthorst (Dutch artist, 1594-1666) Henriette von Nassau as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.   She has a bow & quiver with feathers in her hair.



c 1635 Unknown artist, A Young Lady As Diana The Huntress



 1640s Ferdinand Bol (Dutch artist, 1616-1680) Portrait of a woman as Diana. She has a bow & quiver.



1640-50s Attributed to Giovanni Domenico Cerrini (Italian artist, 1609-1681) Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana.  Here she has her dog & a hunting spear.  The crescent moon hangs in the sky above them.



1650 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692) Portrait of a lady as Diana. She has a dog & a bow.



 1650 Jan van Mijtens (1613-1670) Lady as Diana. She has a tiny lap dog/hunting dog & carries a quiver on her back.



 1654 Justus van Egmont (Dutch painter, 1601-1674) Marie Anne Mancini as Diana the Huntress.  She has feathers in her hair & carries a bow & arrow, but she stands in a formal garden.



1661 Abrham Wuchters Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana holding an arrow.



 1666 Giovanni Maria Morandi (Italian painter, 1622-1717)  Claudia Felicitas of Austria as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, carries a hunting spear and has a dog at her side.



1667 Claude Lefèbvre (French painter, 1633–1675) Louise de La Vallière as Diana. She has a quiver & bow as well as her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.



 1670s Copy of  Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Mary II (1662–1694), when Princess Mary of York, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & arrow & only the head of her dog companion is visible.



Style of Peter Lely Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Ann Fanshawe (b.1654), Daughter of Sir Richard Fanshawe as Diana with a deer.



 1674 Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696) Portrait of a Lady as Diana.  She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting spear, & feathers in her hair.



1670s-90s Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio) (Italian artist, 1639-1709) Diana the Huntress with her hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.  Her bow & quiver lay on the ground.



 1680s Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696)  Elizabeth Cornwallis (d.1708), Mrs Edward Allen, as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a hunting spear, & an animal skin decoration, & feathers in her hair.



 1688 Francois de Troy Lady Mary Herbert (1659–1744-1745), Viscountess Montagu, Previously the Honourable Lady Richard Molyneux, and Later Lady Maxwell, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a dog, & an animal-skin component to her costume.



1700-10 Nicolas de Largillière (French artist, 1656-1746)  Portrait of Lady as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a bow & quiver nearby.



 1743 Jean-Marc Nattier (French painter, 1685-1766) Madame la Comtesse d'Argenson.  She wears an animal-skin wrap & holds a bow with her quiver on her lap.



1700s Unknown French artist, Portrait of a Lady as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt.  She wears a crescent moon in her hair and has an animal-skin wrap, a dog, a quiver & a bow.



 1745 Jean-Marc Nattier (French painter, 1685-1766) Madame Adélaïde as the goddess Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & quiver with an animal-skin at her waist.



 1746 Jean-Marc Nattier (French painter, 1685-1766) Jeanne-Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (1722-1764) as Diana the Huntress. She has a bow & quiver with an animal-skin wrap at her waist.



 1751 Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Italian artist, 1708-1787) Sarah Lethieullier as Lady Fetherstonhaugh, as Diana.  She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & a dog.



 1752 Jean-Marc Nattier (French painter, 1685-1766) Madame de Pompadour as Diana.  She has a bow & an animal-skin wrap.



 1765 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (French painter, 1705-1765) Luise Henriette Wilhelmine von Anhalt-Dessau as Diana.  She has a dog, an animal-skin wrap, a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.



 1765 Francis Cotes (English Painter, 1726-1770) The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana, and Her Companion.  Diana has a hunting spear & a crescent moon in her hair.



 1769 Thomas Beach (English artist, 1738-1806) Elizabeth Phelips (1750–1841), as Diana the Huntress.  She has a bow & quiver.



 1770 Thomas Beach (English artist, 1738-1806) Miss Elizabeth Phelips, Dressed as Diana.  She has a bow.



 1773 after François-Hubert Drouais (French artist, 1727-1775) Marie-Joséphine-Louise de Savoie (1753–1810), comtesse de Provence, as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. .  She has a bow, & an animal-skin wrap.



1771 Robert Hunter (Irish artist, fl. 1748–1780) Lady Margaret Butler Lowry-Corry (1748–1775), as Diana.  She has a dog & carries a hunting spear.



1787 Ludwig Guttenbrunn (Austrian artist, 1750-1819) A portrait of Marie Joséphine de Savoy, the comtesse de Provence as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.  She has a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.


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