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The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

A work made of oil on panel.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on panel.




Peter Paul Rubens
Flemish, 1577–1640

About this artwork

In this oil sketch, the Flemish artist Peter Paul Rubens illustrated a moment from the ancient Roman poem Metamorphoses for the hunting lodge of King Philip IV of Spain. In the middle of a wedding celebration, the goddess of discord, Eris, has thrown a golden apple into the feast to provoke jealousy. She succeeds in igniting a competition for the extraordinary fruit between Venus, goddess of beauty, who sits nude in the foreground; Juno, goddess of marriage, who wears a flowing veil at the center; and Minerva, goddess of war, who stands at the left in a helmet. Rubens humanized the gods through robust modeling of their bodies and facial expressions, a choice appropriate to the subject matter, a story of their pride and vanity.


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Painting and Sculpture of Europe


Peter Paul Rubens


The Wedding of Peleus and Thetis


Flanders (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Oil on panel


27 × 42.6 cm (10 5/8 × 16 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection

Reference Number


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