SOLDANI BENZI, Massimiliano
(b. 1656, Firenze, d. 1740, Montevarchi)

Diana and Callisto

Bronze with dark-brown lacquer patina, height 41 cm
Liechtenstein Museum, Vienna

The principal literary source for this sculpture is Ovid's Metamorphoses, the most popular work of classical literature in the Italian Renaissance.

Diana's nymphs were expected to be as chaste as the goddess herself. One of them, Callisto, was seduced by Jupiter who first disguised himself as Diana in order to gain the nymphs presence. In Diana and Callisto, the unfortunate Callisto is shown being stripped by her companions at the command of the chaste goddess Diana to reveal her pregnancy.

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