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