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The Battle between the Gods and the Giants

A work made of oil on copper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of oil on copper.


c. 1608


Joachim Antonisz. Wtewael
Dutch, c. 1566-1638

About this artwork

The subject of the victory of the gods of Olympus over the ancient race of giants provided Joachim Wtewael with the opportunity to depict exaggerated athletic poses and striking contrasts of space and light. From the clouds, the Olympian gods wield their attributes as weapons: Jupiter hurls thunderbolts; Neptune brandishes his triton; and Mercury uses his caduceus as a spear. The helmeted figure on the right is Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and war. The painting’s gemlike effect results from the use of a copper support and from its small scale. The artist’s self-conscious display of his skills was a hallmark of the international style known as Mannerism, which was fashionable in Holland around 1600.

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European Painting and Sculpture


Joachim Antonisz. Wtewael


The Battle between the Gods and the Giants






Oil on copper


6 1/8 × 8 in. (15.6 × 20.3 cm)

Credit Line

Through prior acquisition of the George F. Harding Fund

Reference Number


Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.


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