Neptune in classical and Renaissance visual art

Luba Freedman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Renaissance renderings of Neptune differ from the Greek and Roman models. As a rule, Renaissance artists followed classical conventions in depicting Olympian deities in the nude, and preserved the main attributes of the particular god. Yet in reviving the monumental image of Neptune, Renaissance artists did not have any definite classical model to imitate. While retaining the statuesque image of Neptune, they deliberately deprived him of the grandeur and majesty which normally characterizes an Olympian deity. This manifests itself in their giving Neptune an expressive face, making him perform the gesture of a mortal ruler, and likening him to Hercules.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)219-237
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of the Classical Tradition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1995


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