AACHEN, Hans von
(b. 1552, Köln, d. 1615, Praha)

The Amazement of the Gods

Oil on copper, 36 x 46 cm
National Gallery, London

Jupiter, the ruler of the gods, is seated on a cloud, his attribute of an eagle with thunderbolts in its beak beside him. He is embracing the goddess Minerva, his daughter. The scene is witnessed by a gathering of the gods of Olympus, clearly shocked by what they see.

Mercury, messenger of the gods, carries his winged caduceus (wand) in one hand and points toward the pair with the other. Diana, goddess of the moon, with her back turned, has abandoned her bow and her quiver full of arrows to watch. Apollo is seated with his lyre; Venus leans, naked, against a boulder as Cupid covers her with a shimmering drapery.