The nine figures in the background, who are variously styled the Corybantes or the Curetes according to different versions of this legend, are shown making music so that the noise will distract Jupiter's father, Saturn, from devouring his offspring.

The picture was formerly in the collection of King Charles I, and is one of a series of twelve pictures, of which four are in the Royal Collection.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1499? - 1546
Full title
The Infant Jupiter guarded by the Corybantes on the Island of Crete
Date made
mid 1530s
Medium and support
Oil on wood
Dimensions
106.4 x 175.5 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1859
Inventory number
NG624
Location in Gallery