The Metamorphoses By Ovid 's Metamorphoses

1844 Words8 Pages
Ovid’s Metamorphoses tells the story of Diana and Actaeon, the goddess of the hunt and a man who unwittingly stumbles upon the sacred grotto of Gargaphia while Diana is bathing with her nymphs. The outraged goddess transforms Actaeon into a stag, and ironically, his own hunting dogs kill him. Rembrandt’s painting of Diana, Actaeon, and Callisto is an artistic interpretation of Book III – and a bit of Book II- of the Metamorphoses, providing a visual insight of the scene that casts Actaeon’s unfortunate fate. Rembrandt’s still life expresses many Ovidian themes of censorship, chastity, and punishment by the divine hand. Despite superficial differences between the painting and the book, the scene remains true to the myth of Actaeon & Diana both visually and thematically. Rembrandt successfully enhances certain Ovidian motifs by adapting imagery, characters, and themes from the writing onto the canvas. Rembrandt’s techniques are derived from the Baroque period, using the style as a medium to project qualities of the Metamorphoses myth. Baroque paintings commonly orchestrate colors by contrasting light and shadow, in which this painting explicitly displays with a majority of a dark, almost black, landscape while light tones flood the lower portion, where characters are (Britannica). The color scheme relates to not only the artistic mode, but it also correlates with the text, where the setting is described as “deep in the woods that fringed the valley 's edge… spread into a
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