Manner of Bon de Boulogne (French, 1649-1717)
Diana and Actaeon
Oil on cradled panel
17 1/2 x 27 in. (44.5 x 68.6cm)
Private Collection, Virginia.
The myth of Actaeon arose in Boeotia. The tale recounts how Actaeon accidently stumbled upon Diana and her nymphs enjoying a bath. Mad with fury, the goddess (whose nymphs tried to cover her while splashing the shepherd) changed him into a stag and caused his own hounds to go mad, track him down and kill him. The legend was made popular by Stesichorus and other Greek poets, and put on the stage by Aeschylus. It was later popularized through Ovid's Metamorphoses.