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Mercury and Battus

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In his book 'Metamorphoses', the Roman poet Ovid tells the story of Battus and Mercury. Battus, an old shepherd, witnessed Mercury stealing Apollo's cattle. Mercury gave Battus a heifer on condition that he tells no one. Mercury returned in disguise and tricked Battus into revealing the location of the cattle by offering him a cow and a bull. Mercury punished Battus by turning him to stone. After the death of Peter Paul Rubens in 1640, Jacob Jordaens was the most important painter of large commissions in Antwerp.

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Collection book

Collection book Order


Title Mercury and Battus
Material and technique Oil on panel
Object type
Painting > Painting > Two-dimensional object > Art object
Location This object is in storage
Dimensions Width 133,1 cm
Height 85,7 cm
Artists Painter: Jacob Jordaens (I)
Accession number 3196 (OK)
Credits Bruikleen / Loan: Rijksdienst voor het Cultureel Erfgoed 1990 (NK-collectie)
Department Old Masters
Acquisition date 1990
Creation date in 1635 - 1640
Geographical origin Southern Netherlands > The Netherlands > Western Europe > Europe

All about the artist

Jacob Jordaens (I)

Antwerpen 1593 - Antwerpen 1678

Jacob Jordaens worked as an assistant of Rubens. After the death of Rubens, Jordaens completed a number of paintings that were intended for Spain. The influence...

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