Diana the Huntress
This painting is a studio replica of an original now kept in the Musée des Beaux-arts de Nantes. Gentileschi, a brilliant disciple of Caravaggio, delivers one of his happiest compositions, undoubtedly imagined during his stay in Paris, in 1624-1625. Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt, but also of war and the night, occupies an essential place in the symbolism of hunting representations.
Like the hunters that she protects or punishes, she is both an insatiable predator and a protector of the wilderness. As the guarantor of the integrity of nature in the face of human excesses, she lives surrounded by animals who are as much companions as victims. A feminine figure of reference in a largely masculine universe, the divine hunteress embodies the quest for love with which hunting is often associated in the hunting culture.