Diana and Actaeon (the Metamorphosis of Acteon)

A work made of etching in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1544

Artist:

Jean Mignon (French, active 1535-c. 1555)
after Luca Penni (Italian, 1500/04-1557)

About this artwork

Under the patronage of Francis I, the Royal Palace of Fontainebleau was decorated with paintings and stucco-work by Italian Mannerist artists. A print workshop was also established there to record and publicize the achievements of the masters working at the isolated palace. Jean Mignon was one of the principal printmakers of the Fontainebleau School; this splendid etching, based on a drawing by Luca Penni, displays the extreme elegance and refined, attenuated figures of the Fontainebleau style.

When the young hunter Actaeon stumbles upon the bathing Diana in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, he surprises the chaste goddess, who subsequently splashes water upon him. This print depicts the ensuing moments, in which Actaeon, on the left, is transformed into a deer, and Diana’s nymphs, on the right, attempt to shield their goddess. Based on a drawing by Luca Penni, this etching’s graceful lines and attention to decoration aptly demonstrate Mignon’s participation in the first School of Fontainebleau.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Jean Mignon

Title

Diana and Actaeon (the Metamorphosis of Acteon)

Origin

Fontainebleau

Date

1544

Medium

Etching in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

430 × 580 mm (image); 436 × 587 mm (plate); 493 × 685 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Print and Drawing Club and John H. Wrenn Memorial Fund

Reference Number

1985.385

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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