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Painting Title Selene and Endymion
Alternative Title Diana and Endymion
Collection York Art Gallery
Artist Burrini, Giovanni Antonio (Italian painter, 1656-1727)
Previously attributed to Reni, Guido (Italian painter and draftsman, 1575-1642)
Date Earliest probably about 1686
Date Latest probably about 1688
Description Selene, a crescent moon in her hair, in a white-sleeved dress with purple and golden drapes, bearing a quiver and holding a bow in her right hand, restrains Cupid, who wears a lilac drape and holds an arrow in his right hand and a bow in his left. Below, Endymion sleeps resting on the rock; a white dog is watching by him. In Greek mythology, Endymion was a handsome mortal young man, loved by Selene, the Titan goddess of the moon (often identified with Artemis, or Roman Diana). There were various versions of the myth (according to some, Selene was supposed to have had by Endymion fifty daughters, who represented the fifty lunar months of the Olympiad). Selene persuaded Zeus to grant Endymion eternal youth so that he would never leave her; Zeus also put him into an eternal sleep, and she visited him in the cave on Mount Latmus and watched him sleeping. The first known version of the myth is included in the third-century BC Argonautica by Apollonius of Rhodes.
Current Accession Number YORAG : 274
Subject mythology (Selene and Endymion); figure; animal (dog)
Measurements 237.5 x 151 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by David Shirlaw, Glasgow 1923.
Provenance Ranuzzi collection, Bologna, about 1690 to at least 1758; sold before 1870 (possibly at Christie's).
Publications Zanotti, G., Storia dell'Accademia Clementina di Bologna Aggregata all'Instituto delle Scienze e dell'Arti, vol. 1, Bologna, 1739, pp. 324-325; Cochin, C.N., Le Voyage D'Italie, vol. 2, 1758, p. 148; Campori, G., Raccolta di cataloghi ed inventarii inediti di quadri, statue, disegni, bronzi, dorerie, smalti, medaglie, avorii, ecc: dal secolo XV al secolo XI, Milan, 1870, pp. 409, 415; PREVIEW. City of York Art Gallery Quarterly, 73, January 1966, vol. XIX, pp. 684-686 as North Italian late 17th century; Brigstocke, H., ‘A Burrini “Diana and Endymion” at York', The Burlington Magazine, November 1970, No. 812, Vol. 112, pp. 758-760, figs. 47, 48; Catalogue Supplement 1974: Amendments and Additions to Catalogue Volumes I and II, City of York Art Gallery, York, 1975, p. 22, pl. 2; Emiliani, A. (ed.), Giuseppe Maria Crespi: 1665-1747, Milano, 1990, p. LXXXIII; Mazza, A., ‘Ercole e Cerbero. Un affresco di Creti diciassettenne in Palazzo Fava ed altre opere giovanili.', Arte a Bologna Bollettino dei Musei Civici d'Arte Antica 2, 1992, pp. 105 and 108, ill. 9; Oil Paintings in Public Ownership. North Yorkshire, London, 2006, p. 253.
Notes The painting was cleaned and extensively restored in 1966 and identified by Hugh Brigstocke as Burrini via a preparatory drawing at Windsor (inv.no. 359). Giampietro Zanotti (1739) referred to Burrini returning to Bologna in 1688 (after working in Turin) and painting 'un quadro di Endimione con la luna per il senatore Ranuzzi...circa l'anno 1690'. Burrini was paid for the painting on 20 July 1686. A preparatory drawing is at Windsor Castle (Royal Collection Trust, no. 903591). The painting by Burrini was copied by Donato Creti (location unknown).
Rights Owner York Museums Trust (York Art Gallery)
Author Dr Magdalena Łanuszka



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