National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Cephalus and Pan at the Temple of Diana Bernardino Luini (artist)
Milanese, c. 1480 - 1532
Cephalus and Pan at the Temple of Diana, c. 1520/1522
fresco
overall: 226 x 103.5 cm (89 x 40 3/4 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1943.4.54
On View
From the Tour: Fresco Cycle with the Story of Procris and Cephalus
Object 8 of 9

Act V of Niccolò’s drama concludes the story with the young bride being revived by the benevolent goddess Diana. Cephalus, led toward his happy second reunion by the goat-footed satyr, Pan, approaches a temple. Its sacred portal is inscribed “VIRGINITAS” and is topped by a statue of Diana, the spear-bearing goddess of the hunt and chastity.

Luini’s imaginary temple shows his profound knowledge of classical architecture; the octagonal structure with Corinthian columns possesses a majestic clarity of proportion. The edges of the building reveal Luini’s preliminary outlines scratched onto the wet plaster through his cartoon, or full-scale preparatory drawing, before he began painting.

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