(b. ca. 1499, Roma, d. 1546, Mantova)

Jupiter Seducing Olympias

Sala di Psiche, Palazzo del Tè, Mantua

This fresco is located on the east wall, to the left of Polyphemus, above the left window.

The amorous themes in the Sala di Psiche are treated with an extraordinary boldness, and they reflect a taste that artist and patron certainly shared. In this scene Jupiter disguised as a snake is impregnating the Macedonian queen. Olympias, while her curious husband Philip is blinded by an eagle. The scene is forthrightly pornographic - a remarkable thing given the great size of the work and its relatively public location.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.