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Storytelling in Miniature

Johann Theodor de Bry
Franco-Flemish, 1561–1623

After Joseph Heintz
Swiss, 1564–1609

Diana and Her Nymphs Being Surprised by Actaeon

4 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.
William J. Hitchcock Fund in Memory of Grace J. Hitchcock, 1990.101

Usually known as Actaeon Being Transformed into a Stag by Diana, this print shows the unfortunate Theban hero and hunter Actaeon as he stumbles upon the goddess Diana and her entourage of bathing nymphs. Details of the story and Actaeon’s transgression vary; however, his ultimate fate, being torn apart by his own hunting hounds after the virginal Diana turns him into a stag, remains consistent. This print, after Joseph Heintz’s design, shows the hero in the early stages of his encounter with the vengeful goddess.

In the print by Theodor de Bry (Johann’s father) on the next page, the goddess has begun to transform Actaeon into a stag.