Dose of Art #30: Antonio Allegri da Correggio – Jupiter and Io (1533)

The Greek/Roman Gods were a lot like humans in the way they acted; they cheated, killed, fell in love, were jealous, vengeful and they raped women when the felled like it.
Corregio may have painted a romantic picture but Ovid’s description of what happened when the God Jupiter saw the nymph Io leaves nothing to the imagination:
“Jupiter first saw her returning from her father’s stream, and said ‘Virgin, worthy of Jupiter himself, who will make some unknown man happy when you share his bed, while it is hot and the sun is at the highest point of its arc, find shade in the deep woods! (and he showed her the woods’ shade). But if you are afraid to enter the wild beasts’ lairs, you can go into the remote woods in safety, protected by a god, and not by any lesser god, but by the one who holds the sceptre of heaven in his mighty hand, and who hurls the flickering bolts of lightning. Do not fly from me!’ She was already in flight. She had left behind Lerna’s pastures, and the Lyrcean plain’s wooded fields, when the god hid the wide earth in a covering of fog, caught the fleeing girl, and raped her.”

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