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The arrival of Neptune at the feast of the gods


Adriaen van Stalbemt


1580 Antwerp - 1662 Antwerp






On Request






Frame Size




Oil on panel

Accompanied by an expert’s report by Dr Klaus Ertz, Lingen.

In ca. 1620 the painter van Stalbemt developed his own style after having been dependent on Brueghel for a long time. There are several paintings with a similar subject that have become known for this creative period.

As ancient authors tell us, the Greek legend says that Zeus summoned a meeting of the gods to discuss disagreements among gods, demigods and men. The theme has found its way into painting several times since the Renaissance. Here in the picture, on the other hand, the subject is the meeting for a meal after the consultation. The place of meeting, Olympus, is symbolically indicated here by a coarse, overgrown rock arch. In terms of composition, the pictorial representation is divided into two parts: on the right is a long, laid table that extends into the rock opening. The gods have already gathered, the table is set, the wine god Bacchus seems to regret that there is no wine, the goddess Pomona, on the right edge of the picture, wants to serve the company with her fruit. The godfather Zeus, who is wearing a crown, is sitting at the front right edge of the table next to Diana.

All the more triumphant is the arrival of Neptunus staged in a golden throne, pulled by seahorses, accompanied by naiads and tritons blowing shells. It can be observed that Zeus looks slightly angry at his brother Neptune because of his delay. In accordance with the theme, numerous shells and snails are shown in fine painting in the foreground.
The painter transferred the all-too-human, earthly context of family and social relationships to the world of the gods, which was probably already understood as a cheerful depiction at the time the picture was created.



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