Guido Reni, Hippomenes and Atalanta, 1618-19

Ovid writes of Atalanta, daughter of the King of Arcadia. Her father wanted her married off but Atalanta wasn’t interested in marrying, and so, offered to marry anyone who beat her in a foot race. However, those who lost the race also lost their lives.

Hippomenes was in love with Atalanta and so challenged her to a race. Venus lent a helping hand by giving him three golden apples that he threw in front of Atalanta, thereby distracting her during the race. Here she is stooping to pick one up while Hippomenes gains an edge on her. In the end he won the race and her hand in marriage.

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