Carle Van Loo | Erigone | ca. 1747 | Oil on canvas
Currently on view.
Born in Nice to Dutch parents, Charles Andre Van Loo (called Carle) would become the most famous member of an extensive family of artists. He was able to work in several styles and mastered all areas of painting, from portraiture to religious and mythological subjects to fêtes galantes. The subject of Erigone is taken from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, in which Bacchus deceived the nymph Erigone by transforming himself into a grape, which she ate. Erigone is depicted outdoors, coyly eyeing the viewer as she reaches for the luscious fruit. With its erotic overtones, the subject certainly would have appealed to eighteenth-century taste.