Diana and Endymion

Diana, goddess of hunting, chastity and the moon, fell in love with the shepherd Endymion, whose youth and eternal sleep have made him an artistic symbol of beauty’s timelessness. Francesco Solimena was greatly influenced by the dramatic use of light and the dark shadows in the Neapolitan paintings of artists such as Preti. He displays this personal use of light in the moonlight bathing Endymion’s handsome body, reinforcing its muscularity and emphasising Diana’s look of infatuation, as cupid waits to lose his arrow. 1705-1710, oil on canvas, Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

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