BALEN, Hendrick van
(b. 1575, Antwerpen, d. 1632, Antwerpen)

Diana Resting after the Hunt

Oil on oak, 67 x 89 cm
Residenzgalerie, Salzburg

Together with three nymphs, Diana, the Greek goddess of the hunt and of wild untamed nature has retired to a small island in the stream and attends to her toilet after the exertions of the hunt. Hendrick van Balen set this idyllic group of figures in a lush woodland landscape by Jan Brueghel the Elder. In addition to the landscape and the staffage figures, there is a further thematic group: the still-life in the foreground depicting the game which the hunters have just killed. This is thought to have been painted by Frans Snyders, who worked in van Balen's studio and is considered a specialist in the painting of dead animals.