The theme, as told by Ovid in his Metamorphoses (VIII:183–235), was a rare one in Caravaggesque painting the seventeenth century. Benedict Nicolson, in his 1979 comprehensive survey of Caravaggesque painting, lists only two treatments of this subject: the present painting, and another composition by Orazio Riminaldi.1 A comparison with paintings by Nicolas Tournier from his Roman period reveals marked similarities in style and handling, although these are, hitherto, insufficient to justify a convincing attribution to him.
1. Now in The Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford. See P. Carofano and F. Paliaga, Orazio Riminaldi, Soncino 2013, p. 126, cat. no. 14, reproduced p. 81, pl. XVII.
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