Although I have blogged about Guido Reni before, I was recently reminded of his beautiful painting, Atalanta and Hippomenes in a book I have been dipping in and out of for months!
Here is the extract from the book: ‘In the myth, Atalanta was a swift-running huntress who was determined to keep her virginity and refused to mate with any man who could not outrun her in a foot race. Nobody could, until she was challenged by Hippomenes, who had been provided with three golden apples by the interfering goddess Aphrodite. At intervals in their race, Hippomenes would drop an apple, which Atalanta could not resist; picking them up delayed her so much that she lost both the race and her virginity.’ (Robert Hughes, Rome, London, 2011)
Painted between 1618-1619 when Reni returned to Bologna from Rome, it is without a doubt my favourite Reni painting, possibly even my favourite painting in the Prado.