Mercury and Argus

Mercury and Argus
Artist:
Jacob Jordaens (Flemish, 1593-1678)
Date:
c. early 1640s
Medium:
Oil on canvas 
Dimensions:
47-3/4 x 72-3/4 in. (121.3 x 184.8 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
F.1976.01.P 
Copyright:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View
Description

This work is the product of a collaboration between two of the finest painters of seventeenth-century Antwerp. Jordaens executed the figures and cattle; Wildens, a landscape specialist, produced the setting.

The subject is taken from classical mythology. Jupiter, enamored of the beautiful Io, has transformed the woman into a white heifer in order to protect her from the jealousy of Juno. The suspicious Juno, however, gives the heifer to the hundred-eyed Argus to guard. In this scene, Mercury, sent by Jupiter to kill Argus, slyly approaches the watchman after lulling him to sleep with his pipe. Io stands placidly at the right.

Provenance:

Possibly Jaques de Roore (sale, The Hague, 4 September 1747, no. 79).
Brought to Ireland from Antwerp by Major Whitlock.
(Alexander Mangin (1732-1802) or William Ashford (1746-1824) et al sale, James Vallance, Dublin, 9 May 1803, lot 116);
Mrs. Talbot, Dublin by 1815, by inheritance to;
The Hon. Rose Talbot, Malahide Castle, outside Dublin, (sale, Christie's, London, 2 April 1976, lot 62 to;
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please fill our our Online Reproduction Request Form or download the Application for Reproduction Permission PDF Form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978