Oil painting: 150 cm x 206 cm

In Jupiter and Antiope Anthony van Dyck depicts one of Jupiters many escapades. In Ovids Metamorphoses we are told how the father of the gods disguises himself as a satyr and impregnates the nymph Antiope with twins. Van Dyck depicts the moment when Jupiter, accompanied by his permanent attribute the eagle, spies on the innocently sleeping Antiope. The erotic tones of the portrayal can be seen as an ode to fertility as well as a condemnation of licentious behaviour. Mythological scenes like this gave artists an excuse for depicting nude figures without fear of repercussions. Jupiter and Antiope is an early work by Van Dyck and one of his few mythological paintings. It is a typical work of bravado in which Van Dyck is able to demonstrate his virtuosity as a painter of nudes and precious materials. It earned him great success. There are several versions of the work, one of which Rubens had in his possession until his death.