The painting executed from this modello is today in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schoone Kunsten, Antwerp. When King Oeneus of Calydon omitted to offer proper sacrifice to Diana, goddess of the hunt, she sent a wild boar to ravage his lands in revenge. Among the warriors who assembled to destroy the beast was Meleager, the king's son, his uncles and the huntress Atalanta. Felled by one of Atalanta's arrows, the boar is dealt the fatal blow by Meleager. His uncles try to prevent him presenting his lover Atalanta with the head of the boar as a trophy. In the ensuing fight Meleager slays his uncles, and then later dies himself after being cursed by his mother for killing her brothers. Jordaens chose the moment of confrontation between the young Meleager and his relatives as his main motif. The central group was added to by Jordaens himself almost 40 years after it was originally painted. The influence of Rubens is unmistakeable.
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Jacob Jordaens
Meleager and Atalante, 1618
Oil on panel
height 73 cm, width 98 cm
Inv.-No. GE108
Provenance: Jacob Jordaens; estate sale Jacob Jordaens, Den Haag, 22. 3. 1734, Nr. 89; Collection A. von Buren (Paris), Auction Amsterdam (A. Mak), 26–27, III. 1925; De Coninck, Brussels; property of A. de Heuvel, Brüssel, ca. 1950; property of Asscher, London; property of Dr. Hans Wetzlar before 1968, his Auction Amsterdam, Sotheby’s Amsterdam, 9. 7. 1977, Lot 37; Galerie Nathan, Zurich before 1981. Acquired in 1981 by Prince Franz Josef II von und zu Liechtenstein.
Further works on display
The Adoration of the Shepherds, 1615
Related themes
Samson and Delilah. A Rubens painting returns
Vorbild Rubens (Rubens as model)
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