Oil on canvas, in a carved and gilded frame, 183cm by 252cm.
Signed l.r.: Jordanus/Ft.
The myth of Diana and Actaeon appears in Ovid’s Metamorphoses.
The hunter Actaeon after discovering Diana, goddess of the hunt, whilst she was bathing, was transformed into a deer and killed by his own hounds.
The story was popular with artists from the time of the Renaissance.
The painting was purchased by John, 5th Earl of Exeter (1648-1700), during one of his four Grand Tours and is recorded in the 1688 Burghley Inventory.
The earl much admired the work of Luca Giordano and bought, and commissioned, many paintings from the artist.