JACQUET, Mathieu
(b. ca. 1545, Avon, d. after 1611, Paris)

Portrait of Henry IV, King of France, as Jupiter

Bronze, height 47 cm
Walters Art Museum, Baltimore

Having himself depicted as the lightly clothed, muscular figure of Jupiter, king of the Olympian gods, is surely meant to suggest that Henry felt supremely confident of his invincibility. It is a clever political ploy of one who felt enemies on every side. His concerns were justified, as he was assassinated in 1609. The fierce eagle was Jupiter's pet and a suitable attribute of kingly ambition.

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