"Diane Chasseresse," School of Fontainebleau.
The painting shows Diana while hunting. The peculiar crescent moon on her forehead symbolizes her being a moon goddess.
Click on image for full size
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri. (Purchase: Nelson Trust).
Diana was an ancient Italian goddess of woodland. In Capua and in Aricia, a locality near Rome, there are still shrines dedicated to the old Italian goddess.
Diana was the twin sister of the god
. Her father and mother
Diana believed her body was very sacred, and so no man was to see her naked. One day a wandering hunter came across Diana bathing. She became very angry, and turned him into a stag.
She was always surrounded by young beautiful attendants, who used to hunt with her. Romans identified Diana with the Greek goddess Artemis. As Artemis, she was also a Moon goddess.
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