Vertumnus and Pomona, c. 1613
Oil on canvas
90 cm × w 149.5 cm
Vertumnus, in the form of an old woman, speaks to his beloved, the naked Pomona. Vertumnus grabs a vine with her right hand. Her walking stick lies between her legs. Pomona lies under an apple tree and holds in her right hand a kind of cutting blade with which she harvested fruit. To the right in the foreground are apples, pears and grapes. More on this painting
In Roman mythology, Vertumnus is the god of seasons, change and plant growth, as well as gardens and fruit trees. He could change his form at will; using this power, according to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, he tricked Pomona into talking to him by disguising himself as an old woman and gaining entry to her orchard, then using a narrative warning of the dangers of rejecting a suitor to seduce her. The tale of Vertumnus and Pomona has been called the only purely Latin tale in Ovid’s Metamorphoses. More on Vertumnus and Pomona
Hendrick Goltzius (January or February 1558 – 1 January 1617), was a German-born Dutch printmaker, draftsman, and painter. He was the leading Dutch engraver of the early Baroque period, or Northern Mannerism, noted for his sophisticated technique and the “exuberance” of his compositions. According to A. Hyatt Mayor, Goltzius “was the last professional engraver who drew with the authority of a good painter and the last who invented many pictures for others to copy”. In middle age he also began to produce paintings. More Hendrick Goltzius
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