National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Procris' Prayer to Diana Bernardino Luini (artist)
Milanese, c. 1480 - 1532
Procris' Prayer to Diana, c. 1520/1522
fresco
overall: 228.6 x 140.3 cm (90 x 55 1/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1943.4.52
On View
From the Tour: Fresco Cycle with the Story of Procris and Cephalus
Object 1 of 9

In Act I, Cephalus had tested his wife's fidelity by appearing in disguise and bribing her with gifts. Recognizing her would-be seducer as her husband, Procris fled into the wilderness. The first scene in Luini's surviving frescoes is an episode from Act II of Niccolò da Correggio's play.

On bended knee, Procris implores the help of the gods. Hastening down a winding path to answer her prayer is Diana, the goddess of chastity and the hunt. Diana accepts the princess as a follower, clothes her as a huntress, and gives her weapons. By portraying Procris already dressed as a virgin huntress with bow and arrows, Luini condensed time to clarify the narrative.

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