ANDRÉ DURAND Twenty-First Century Paintings
DIANA OF THE CERNE GIANT AND ORION
Dimensions: 182.88 x182.88
Oil on linen
As in his 2000 allegory of Princess Diana as the goddess Fortuna, both Dorset allegories share a classical precedent but the difference in mimesis is remarkable. The small Kalathiskos Dancer relief in the Altes Museum, Berlin is a template for Fortuna’s pose. However, the slightly over life-size marble statue of Artemis, goddess of the hunt, known as the ‘Diana of Versailles’ in the Louvre, (a gift from Pope Paul IV to Henri II in 1556), which Durand has drawn and photographed uncountable times is the artist’s primary source of inspiration. This statue, the first significant antiquity to enter the French royal collection, has been copied, cast and imitated many times in modern Europe, in engravings, ceramics and small bronzes. For Durand the goddess’s rather aloof majesty and nimble-footed movement evokes the agile Princess Diana.