The Wallace Collection

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The Infant Jupiter with the Nymphs on Mount Ida
  • Nicolaes Berchem (1620 - 1683)
  • The Infant Jupiter with the Nymphs on Mount Ida
  • Netherlands
  • 165[0?]
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 63.3 x 84.2 cm
  • Signature: 'CPBerighem 165[0?]', the 'CPB' in monogram
  • P256
  • East Galleries III
Further Reading
  • The son of the still-life painter Pieter Claesz., Berchem’s name derives from the Flemish town in which his father was born. This work depicts the myth of the birth and early life of Jupiter, King of the Gods in Roman mythology. His father Saturn devoured his children because he feared that one of them would usurp his power. When his wife, Rhea, gave birth to Jupiter, she gave Saturn a stone wrapped in swaddling clothes which he swallowed instead: the child was then secretly brought up by the nymphs on Mount Ida where he was fed on wild honey and milk from the goat Amalthe. Berchem’s picture uses an ideal Italianate landscape as the setting for this well-known myth, with the suckling infant Jupiter visible at the centre of the composition.