The Abduction of Europa
Noël-Nicolas Coypel, French, 1690 - 1734
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According to the story told in Ovid's Metamorphoses, the god Jupiter, smitten with the nymph Europa, transformed himself into a white bull and abducted her. Here Jupiter swims away with Europa on his back attended by a host of sea deities. Celebrated since it was entered in a royal painting competition in 1727, this picture has been in Philadelphia since 1815. It belonged to Joseph Bonaparte, who lived here in exile following the fall of his brother, the emperor Napoleon.