Friday, February 12, 2010

Hippomenes and Atlanta

This painting explains Ovid's Metamorphosis myth in which Atlanta, a skilled huntress, challenged her suitors to outrace her and win her hand. The penalty for the loser was death. Hippomenes faced up to the challenge but invoked Venus before the race. Venus listened to his plea and gave him three golden apples. Hippomenes put into practice the goddess's advice and threw the apples one by one during the race. Atalanta, filled with curiosity, stopped to pick them, losing time; her rival took advantage of it, reached the goal first and won the race.

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