King Oeneus of Calydon neglected to make proper sacrifice to Diana. In revenge, the goddess of the hunt sent a wild boar to ravage his lands. The bravest warriors of Greece gathered to hunt the vicious creature, including the virgin Atalanta, who had grown up among huntsmen and was skilled in the use of weapons. In his rendering of Meleager and Atalanta or The Calydonian Boat Hunt Rubens follows the account given in Ovid's Metamorphoses: Atalanta hurries to the aid of the spear-throwers Telamon and Peleus and wounds the boar behind the ear with her arrow. While the wounded beast writhes in pain Meleager hurries forward from the right to despatch it with his spear. In 1628 Peter Paul Rubens travelled to Madrid on a diplomatic mission, taking eight paintings with him for King Philip IV of Spain which were hung in the salón nuevo of the Alcazár in Madrid. According to the inventory of the Alcazár from 1636 one of these paintings showed a nymph who has just loosed an arrow at a wild boar. At the end of the 1640s the painting was hung in the newly-built pieza ochavada and was probably destroyed in a fire in 1734. This oil sketch was probably executed as a companion piece to Diana's Hunt which is also displayed in this room.
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Peter Paul Rubens
The Hunt of Meleager and Atalanta, 1628 (?)
Oil on panel, cradled
height 24 cm, width 62 cm
Inv.-No. GE75
Provenance: probably in der collection of the Dukes of Coburg-Gotha, Vienna; acquired by Galerie St. Lucas, Vienna in 1937; in austrian private property before 1999; acquired by Prince Hans-Adam II von und zu Liechtenstein in 1999
Further works on display
Decius Mus relating his dream, 1616/1617
Decius Mus preparing for Death, 1616/1617
The Death of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Obsequies of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Dismissal of the Lictors, 1616/1617
The Interpretation of the Victim, 1616/1617
The Trophy, 1616/1617
The Assumption of the Virgin, c. 1637
Venus in Front of the Mirror, 1614/1615
Oil sketch of Mars and Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
Mars und Rhea Silvia, c. 1616/1617
The Discovery of the Infant Erichthonius, c. 1616
Satyr and Maid with Fruit Basket, 1615
The Lamentation, c. 1612
Christ Triumphant over Sin and Death, 1615/1622
Double Portrait of Albert and Nikolaus Rubens, c. 1626/1627
Portrait of Jan Vermoelen, 1616
Portrait of Clara Serena Rubens, c. 1616
Henry IV seizes the Opportunity to conclude Piece, 1628
The Victory of Henry IV at Coutras, 1628
The Consecration of Decius Mus, 1616/1617
The Obsequies of Decius Mus
Three Music-Making Angels, on the reverse side of St Joachim, 1615/1620
St. Catherine in the Clouds, 1620/1621
Four Music-Making Angels, on the reverse side of St Anne, 1615/1620
Apollo in the Chariot of the Sun, 1621/1625
The Conversion of St. Paul, 1601/1602
Perseus and Andromeda
The Virgin adorned with flowers, 1609/1610
Psyche taken up into Olympus, 1621
Landscape with Milkmaids and Cows, 1616
Allegory of war, 1628
The Assumption of the Virgin, modello, 1637
Ganymede, 1611/1612
Diana´s Hunt, 1628
St. Francis of Assisi before the Crucified Christ, 1625
Portrait of a Monk (?)
Adoration of the Magi, 1609/1610
The Visitation, 1611/1612
Portrait of Nicolaas Rockox, 1615
Samson and Delilah, c. 1610
Related themes
Rubens in Wien
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