Juno Asking Aeolus to Release the Winds
Oil on canvas
109 1/2 x 80 in. (278.2 x 203.2 cm) Framed: 112 x 83 x 3 in. (284.5 x 210.8 x 7.6 cm)
Currently On View
As told by the Roman author Virgil in the first book of The Aeneid, the goddess Juno, consumed by jealousy toward Venus, schemed to prevent the fleet of her rival’s son, Aeneas, from reaching shore and founding a Trojan colony in Italy. In Boucher’s faithful depiction of this myth, Juno visits Aeolus, keeper of the winds, and urges him to unleash their fury, thus provoking a violent storm that would destroy Aeneas’s fleet. As enticement, Juno offers Aeolus her most beautiful nymph, Deiopea, in marriage. She aims the torch directly at his heart as love-struck Aeolus releases the winds, while a cupid unsheathes an arrow to target the compliant nymph, her wrists bound with pearls. The presence of an alluring sea nymph reclining in the foreground signals the outcome: mighty Neptune, god of the sea, will prevail over the winds, and calm the insurgent waters.
Recordings for Adults
Painted for Jean-François Bergeret de Frouville [d.1783], hôtel Bergeret de Frouville, Paris, 1769; by inheritance, with hôtel Bergeret de Frouville, to his daughter, Marie-Charlotte, Paris; by inheritance with Hôtel Bergeret de Frouville to her second husband, Antoine-Jean-Baptiste Hervé d’Arbonne, Paris France; purchased in 1811, with hôtel Bergeret de Frouville, by Gabriel-Louis-François Périer [d. 1815], Paris; by inheritance, with hôtel Bergeret de Frouville, to his son, Amédée-Gabriel Périer [d. 1838], Paris; by inheritance, with hôtel Bergeret de Frouville, later hôtel Marcilly, to his cousin, Pierre-Louis Raffard, comte de Marcilly, Paris; by inheritance, with hôtel Marcilly, to his widow, Eugénie-Zoé, comtesse de Marcilly, Paris; M. Johnson, c. 1882. Baron Edmond James de Rothschild [1845-1934], hôtel de Pontalba, rue de Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris, probably 1882 and before 1891; presumably by inheritance, with hôtel de Pontalba, to his widow, Adelheid [1853-1935], Paris; by inheritance, with hôtel de Pontalba, to her son, Maurice de Rothschild [1881-1957], Paris; confiscated by German occupation forces, c. 1940; restituted to Rothschild family, Paris, c. 1945-46; baron Edmond Alphonse Maurice Jules Jacques de Rothschild [1926-1997], Paris and Geneva; (Allwa Handelsgesellschaft, Zurich); purchased through (Hallborough Gallery, London) by Kimbell Art Foundation, Fort Worth, 1972.