(Courtesy: Nasher Museum of Art)
(Courtesy: Nasher Museum of Art)

Devil's Own: Marriage of Jupiter and Juno

May 24, 2013

Marriage of Jupiter and Juno (c. 1720-30), by Nicola Maria Rossi, is in the Nasher Museum’s permanent collection. Floating in the clouds at the center of a swirling entourage of winged attendants, the Roman gods Jupiter and Juno are joined in marriage by the young torch-carrying Hymenaus, god of weddings.

Jupiter swoops in from the right, while his bride seems rooted to her seat in the clouds, pressing herself away from him with an outstretched hand. This gesture, along with her fully clothed body and downcast eyes, signals her maidenly modesty.

Venus, goddess of love, triumphs over all and is crowned in the upper right.

Nicola Maria Rossi was a celebrated Neapolitan artist whose portraits, religious works, and mythological paintings were popular with nobility throughout Europe. While Rossi’s artistic style significantly changed throughout his career, his works from the 1720s are distinctive for their clarity, pastel colors, and light brushstrokes.

This work is included in “The Human Position: Old Master Works from the Collection,” an exhibition at the museum on view from June 20 through August 18.