Diana the Huntress by Damià Campeny

  • Description

  • Work's History

Damià Campeny’s Diana the Huntress is made of Italian marble, like the other sculptures of the set of which it forms part, Hymen, Love or Conjugal Fidelity and Paris. However, it is slightly smaller in size. The goddess’s posture and the short tunic rippled by the wind express movement, and the raised left arm and closed hand indicate the gesture of holding a bow. On her back she carries a quiver with arrows. She is wearing sandals. A diadem with a crescent moon at the front and a chignon at the back gather her hair. She is gazing into the distance, as if searching for a possible prey. She is accompanied by a dog that symbolises her passion for hunting.

«We are under the protection of Diana, virgins and chaste lads. We sing and virgins; Oh daughter of Latona, high descendent of the highest Jupiter, your mother gave birth to you beside the olive tree of Delos, for you to reign over mountains, green forests, hidden gorges and murmuring rivers» Càtul, Poemes

In the Gilded Hall, on the first floor of the Llotja, there are four sculptures of Italian marble that form a set: Hymen, Love or Conjugal Fidelity, Diana the Huntress and Paris. Damià Campeny worked on them in Rome, possibly between the years 1802 and 1814, and sent them to Barcelona in 1815 once the Napoleonic Wars had finished. The reason why Campeny created the sculptures is uncertain. From their matrimonial symbolism – Hymen would represent love; Conjugal Fidelity, faithfulness; Diana the Huntress, fertility; and Paris, beauty – it would seem that they were made to commemorate the double royal wedding that took place in Barcelona in 1802. However, some sources suggest that it was an initiative of the artist himself.

The four marbles remained wrapped up, just as they had arrived from Italy, until June 1825, when the Board of Trade presented them in an exhibition held in the Llotja.

Diana is a Roman divinity identified with the Greek goddess Artemis, many of whose attributes she inherited. Diana was widely revered in Rome. She was considered the goddess of the woods and of hunting – she was usually represented with a bow, arrows and quiver – and, paradoxically, as a protectress of wild animals, young children and the defenceless. In later manifestations of the myth, the image of Diana was associated with the moon. At the temple of Artemisi in Ephesus, in Asia Minor, Artemis was also worshipped as the goddess of fertility and a protectress of the newborn, and was represented with sixty breasts.

Diana embodies chastity, because she always remained a virgin. For this reason she is considered the patron of single girls. Diana loves hunting and spends most of her time in the forest with her dogs and her nymphs, who are as chaste as her.

Location

Casa Llotja de Mar

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Author's works
at the Llotja de Mar

  • Lucretia

    Damia Campeny 
  • Diana the Huntress

    Damia Campeny 
  • Janua caeli

    Damia Campeny 
  • Mastiff

    Damia Campeny