Martin de Vos
Amberes, Belgium, 1532-1603
Oil on oak panel, 133.7 x 174.5 cm
Donated by Horacio Echevarrieta in 1919
The theme represented by De Vos in this painting was related by Ovid in his Metamor-phoses. The god Jupiter, in love with Europa, daughter of the Phoenician King Agenor, turned into a bull to abduct her and take her to Crete, where he made her his. The young girl can be seen in the background, before the abduction, playing on the shore with her companions while Mercury glides in the sky surrounded by cupids, one of whom holds Jupiter’s rays in his hands. Martin de Vos was inspired by a composition painted by Titian between 1559 and 1562, at present kept at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Having reached his artistic maturity, he revealed his skill in the execution of grounds and of anecdotal details (in the purest Flemish tradition), and in the portrayal of the female nude. This figure is impeccably rendered in sfumato, and the light seems to emerge from the flesh through soft transparencies. The yellow robe and the undulating red cloth grant the composition its colour and movement. In short, this work—one of the best and most interesting of those by De Vos—reveals a perfect synthesis of Italian taste and his refined Flemish training. Martin de Vos probably began his career in the workshop run by his father, Pieter de Vos. He travelled to Italy around the year 1552 accompanying Pieter Brueghel the Elder, and settled in Rome and Florence. In Venice he worked in Tintoretto’s studio as a specialist in landscape painting. Upon his return to Antwerp in 1558 he became the most distinguished Italianate artist in the city. [A.S.L.]
Work being undertaken by the Department of Education and Cultural Action (DEAC) of the museum focuses mainly on the start-up of activities and programmes aimed at a wide range of ages and interests whose main aim is to encourage and stimulate the knowledge and enjoyment of the museum's Permanent Collection and Temporary Exhibitions.
We share the knowledge of other professionals in the field of museum education and listen to the contributions that members of the general public participating in our Educational Project offer. Our end objective is to achieve proper intermediation between the museum and private interests, generating proposals that make people think of the museum as somewhere that generates valuable experiences of knowledge and learning.
The student programmes of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum cover the Education System at all levels and are provided as educational tools that make dialogue and reflection possi...
If you´re aged between 13 and 17, you can put your name down for some of the activities we´ve prepared especially for you.
Oriented towards adults and teachers on training programmes, these Programmes in which adults and teachers will always be accompanied by a museum Educator offer the possibi...
We understand art as being a first class educational resource that lets people develop their capacities and boost their spirits and critical analysis regarding things that ...
We invite people with visual, cognitive or other handicaps and impediments, or who are participating in social insertion programmes to get to know the museum Collections.
The Bilbao Fine Arts Museum wants to be an open, friendly, participitative space in which families can find attractive things to do, activities that will let all of the fam...