Landscape with Meleager and Atalanta
Oil on panel. 47 x 72 cm.
Following his training with Peter Verhulst and a stay in Italy, Jan Wildens entered the flourishing workshop of Peter Paul Rubens in Antwerp. There he specialised in landscapes, working together with Rubens and other masters of the workshop.
The figures in this late forest landscape, dating from around 1640, illustrate a story from ancient mythology. The tale of Atalanta and Meleager is related in Ovid's Metamorphoses: When King Oinos fails to make a sacrifice to Diana, the goddess of the hunt, she sends a seemingly invincible wild boar, which Atalanta and Meleager were eventually able to kill by joining forces.
Collection of Dr. Albrecht Beckh, Bamberg. - Auctioned by Lempertz Cologne 19.11.1981, lot 277. - South German private collection.
Wolfgang Adler: Jan Wildens. Der Landschaftsmitarbeiter des Rubens. Fridingen 1980, no. 114, no. 217, illus. 149.