National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Procris Pierced by Cephalus' Javelin Bernardino Luini (artist)
Milanese, c. 1480 - 1532
Procris Pierced by Cephalus' Javelin, c. 1520/1522
fresco
overall: 144.1 x 123.2 cm (56 3/4 x 48 1/2 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
1943.4.56
On View
From the Tour: Fresco Cycle with the Story of Procris and Cephalus
Object 6 of 9

Following the newlyweds’ reunion, Procris becomes jealous in turn. Suspecting Cephalus of infidelity, she follows him on a hunting trip. He hears her and, thinking some wild animal is near, hurls his magic spear. In this vivid illustration from Act IV, the dying Procris reels against the force of the javelin. Ovid’s ancient myth ends tragically at this point, leaving Cephalus to wander the earth in lonely guilt.

Here Procris appears considerably larger in scale than most of the other figures in the cycle. Her prominence, appropriate for the story’s climax, suggests that this scene was a focal point of the decorative scheme and occupied an important position in the room.

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