Marine Gods Paying Homage to Love ~ 1636-38 Eustache Le Sueur
Classically proportioned sea gods and goddesses, partially clad in intensely coloured drapery, form a dramatic procession against a light blue sky. This painting illustrates an episode in Francesco Colonna’s Hypnerotomachia Poliphili (Strife of Love in a Dream of Polyphilus), an extravagant Renaissance tale of a dream-journey through antiquity. To the left, the lovers Polyphilus and Polia are ferried to Cythera, the island of love. The sea goddess Amphitrite, reclining in a shell at the lower right, and Neptune, seated high on a shell and holding his triton, watch the boat depart from amid a crowd of figures.