Neptune and Amymone (1757)
Artist: Charles-Andre Van Loo (Carle van Loo) 1705-1765
Born in Nice, Van Loo was one of the more famous French painters of Dutch origin. He followed his brother to Turin where he studied for a while, and then moved on to Rome two years later where he started his formal education. Van Loo was a versatile artist, winning numerous prestigious prizes for his artwork in both France and Italy, resulting in a rapid rise in his popularity. His scope included portraits, alfrescos and church decorations, religious and mythological paintings and sketches, and was heavily influenced by the Italian painters of the renaissance period. This culminated in his appointment as the principal painter of King Louis XV of France. He was responsible for numerous royal commissions for Dukes and Kings, and was prevalent in producing paintings for Parisian high society.
The painting depicts the story of Amymone being attaked by a chthonic Satyr and rescued by Poseidon. Greek legend has it that Amymone”s father Danaus has 50 daughters who were commanded by Danaus’ twin brother Aegyptus to marry his 50 sons. Amymone was the only one of her 49 sisters that did not assassinate her husband on their wedding night. Poseidon after rescuing her was captivated, and soon after they had a son Nauplius.