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Diana of Versailles

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Diana of Versailles
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Diana (Artemis) is represented as being in the hunt.  The statue was carved from a finely grained white marble.  Artemis is depicted as a dynamic, moving athletic young girl.  Her cap is in the form of a crescent and her wavy hair is tied in a ponytail at her back.  She wears a short, thin peplos above her knees.  She is depicted as hunting together with her dogs (see below).  Her head is turned backward and she is plucking an arrow with her right hand from the quiver on her back.  She held a bow, now missing, in her right hand.

This statue is from Italy and was given to Henry II of France in 1556 by Pope Paul IV.  Her left arm has been restored and the deer was added at her feet.  Probably this should be a hunting dog as in the Hunting Artemis from Perge.

Artemis was the daughter of Leto and Zeus and older sister of Apollo.  Apollo represented the sun and Artemis the moon.  She was a powerful goddess who was sovereign over nature and held in her hands the life and death of living beings.  She lived in the wild with the wild animals.