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Selected works

Diana Bathing completes the Jean Raoux collection

Jean Raoux, Le bain de Diane © D.R.

The artist perpetuated the Venetian tradition through works that he saw, not only in Venice, but also in Rome with the works of Albane or in Paris with those by Antoine Coypel. The painting is in the mythological rather historical genre. The statue of the god Pan, the spear and quiver next to Diane serve as attributes enhancing a highly erotic representation where Raoux, with subtle directing, draws our attention to the base of the Nymph’s buttocks in the foreground. The gem-like bright colours, the white light from the sun which models Diane’s shoulder, the contrast of the star behind the rock, the sensuality of the generous strokes which form the foliage: these are all very Venetian. However, the accessories and figures are painted with a fine Dutch-style workmanship.

This simplicity and absence of pomposity give much naturalness and an intimate character to the mythological scene. Raoux, like Watteau during the same period with his Diana Bathing in the Louvre Museum, often crossed the frontiers separating historical painting from genre painting.