RENI, Guido
(b. 1575, Calvenzano, d. 1642, Bologna)

Atalanta and Hippomenes

1622-25
Oil on canvas
Museo Nazionale di Capodimonte, Naples

This composition is calculated and refined. It highlights the contradictory gestures of the unbeatable athlete Atalanta bending down to pick up the golden apple dropped by Hippomenes. Thanks to his stratagem, the youth is about to win the contest. The idea of movement is rendered almost exclusively by the billowing cloaks. The ivory smooth bodies of the two contestants clearly stand out remarkably against the gray-brown background.

Suggested listening (streaming mp3, 12 minutes):
George Frideric Handel: Atalanta, Act 3 (excerpts)