17 August 2008

Europa -- The 17th Century

My previous post on the theme of Europa showed its use by artists in the 15th and 16th centuries. Let's continue now into the 17th century.

These two pictures show Europa being carried off by Jupiter in bull disguise, but still near the shore. The one on the left was painted in the early years of the 17th century by Antonio Carraci and is now in Bologna's Pinacoteca. The picture on the right dating to 1632 (now in Los Angeles' Getty Center) is by Rembrandt. It is discussed at length on philologos and on the wikimedia commons page from which this reproduction is taken.

Europa and Jupiter are out at sea in this picture by Guido Reni, painted at about the same time as Rembrandt's picture and now in London's National Gallery. Albani painted two versions of this story, the one shown here, now in Florence's Galeria di Uffizi (not shown on their website) and one in
St. Petersburg's Hermitage
. Again at the same time, Simon Vouet's painting below (now in Madrid's Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza) shows Europa and the bull still on land. (public domain reproduction taken from Museum Syndicate)

Claude Lorrain put Europa and the bull in no less than five paintings ranging from 1634 to 1667. The earliest is in Fort Worth's Kimbell Art Museum (no direct link possible. Search for Europa.) Lorrain's next version of Europa and Jupiter, dated to 1647 is on loan to Utrecht's Centraal Museum, but does not appear to be on their website. Lorrain's third version of the story (1655) is in Moscow's Pushkin Museum but not on their website. It can, however, be seen on the website of Houston's Museum of Fine Arts from when it was on loan there. The fourth version is in a private collection, while Lorrain's fifth and last version is in The Royal Collection. The Web Gallery of Art has a reproduction of the fifth version, with a discussion of Lorrain's different versions of the Europa and the bull. (except where stated, all reproductions are in the public domain and from wikimedia commons.)

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