Jupiter and Semele

The subject is taken from Ovid's 'Metamorphosis' (III). Semele was a mortal woman beloved by the god Jupiter. Hoping to gain immortality, she begged him to come to her in his godly form, but the divine thunder and lightning destroyed her.

The painting was probably made for the front of a 'cassone' or chest, or for the panelling of a room.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1518 - 1594
Full title
Jupiter and Semele
Date made
about 1545
Medium and support
Oil on spruce
22.7 x 65.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1896
Inventory number
Location in Gallery