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Aurora abducting Cephalus

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You are viewing image NG2598

Peter Paul RUBENS , 1577 - 1640

Aurora abducting Cephalus

Date: about 1636-7
Medium: Oil on oak
Dimensions: 30.8 x 48.5 cm
Acquisition credit: Salting Bequest, 1910

The subject of Cephalus and Aurora comes from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses'. Aurora, the goddess of light or dawn, steps down from her chariot to embrace Cephalus, a huntsman whom she was trying to abduct.

The painting is a modello (oil sketch) for one of a series of paintings commissioned by Philip IV of Spain to decorate his hunting lodge, Torre de la Parada, just outside Madrid.

Rubens used oil sketches to explore his ideas about design and composition, and also as templates from which his assistants could generate full-scale canvases.






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