Page images


The goddess Discord having, at the nuptials of Thetis and Peleus, thrown among the guests an apple, which was to be given to the handsomest ; Juno, Venus, and Minerva contended for the prize of beauty. Jupiter commanded Paris to determine to which of the three rivals it was to belong.

Mercury has just delivered the order of the father of the gods to the shepherd Paris : Discord appears in the air, and already seems to foretel the woes that this decision will draw upon the city of Troy. Satyrs hidden among the trees take advantage of the circumstance to feast their eyes with the naked charms of the goddesses. This exquisite picture, one of the most graceful by Rubens, is very remarkable for its delicate colouring and high finish.


There exists in England, another picture absolutely similar to this, but of a larger size, and in which Paris is bareheaded, whilst iu this, his head is covered with a small hat. The smaller picture of these two, is undoubtedly the oldest it formed part of Rubens' estate, and was purchased by Count de Bruhl, prime minister to the King of Poland; it is now in the Gallery of Dresden. It has been engraved by A. Lomelin, then by P. F. Tardieu and P. E. Moitte.

The other, after having belonged to Cardinal Richelieu, was in the Gallery of the Palais Royal. It was afterwards purchased for 50,000 fr., about L. 2000, by Lord Kinnaird : it now belongs to Sir T. Penrice, who paid 12,000 fr., or L. 500, more for it.

This last picture as been engraved by Couché and Dambrun. Dresden picture: Width, 25 inches, height, 19 inches. English pict.: Width, 6 feet 3 inches; height, 4 feet 8 inches.





En considérant les Amazones comme des filles de Mars, on a voulu faire connaître qu'elles avaient une ardeur guerrière qui les porta d'abord à défendre leur pays, et ensuite même à porter la guerre chez leurs voisins.

La fable rapporte plusieurs expéditions faites par les Amazones; l'une des plus célèbres est celle où ces illustres guerrières, après s'être emparées de l'Attique, furent repoussées par les Grecs sous la conduite de Thésée. Le héros les défit entièrement sur les bords du fleuve Thermodon; et Rubens, pour donner plus de mouvement à sa composition, a supposé que leur armée est entièrement culbutée au passage du pont.

Les Amazones, cherchant à défendre le passage, sont impitoyablement massacrées; d'autres en fuyant se précipitent dans le fleuve, et trouvent la mort au milieu des eaux teintes de leur sang. Au travers de l'arche du pont on aperçoit une ville enflammée; des tourbillons de fumée s'élèvent dans les airs, et répandent plus d'horreur encore sur cette terrible scène.

Ce tableau, peint sur bois, est remarquable par une expression pleine d'énergie, ainsi que par une couleur magnifique. Il fut un des premiers acquis par l'électeur palatin JeanGuillaume, pour l'ornement de sa galerie de Dusseldorf ; il est maintenant dans celle de Munich. Il a été gravé par Lucas Vorsterman.

Larg., 5 pieds 2 pouces; haut., 3 pieds 9 pouces.


By considering the Amazons as the daughters of Mars, the intent has been to impart that they possessed a warlike ardour, which, at first, led them to defend their own country, and subsequently, even to wage war against their neighbours.

There are fabulous accounts of several expeditions undertaken by the Amazons: one of the most famous is that in which these renowned female warriors were repelled by the Greeks commanded by Theseus. This hero totally defeated them on the banks of the river Thermodon; and Rubens tn give more life to his composition, has supposed their army entirely routed at the passage of the bridge.

Some of the Amazons, endeavouring to defend the passage, are pitilessly slaughtered: others, in their flight, throw themselves in the river, and meet their death in the waters died with their blood. A city in flames is seen through the arch of the bridge, clouds of smoke rise in the air, and spread still more horror over this terrible scene.

This picture, painted on wood, is remarkable for an expression full of energy, as also its splendid colouring. It was one of the first purchased by the Elector-Palatine John William, to deck his Gallery at Dusseldorf: it is now in that of Munich. It has been engraved by Lucas Vosterman.

Width, 5 feet 6 inches; height, 4 feet.

« PreviousContinue »