Diana on the Stag by Paulus Ättinger at the Bode Museum in Berlin, Germany

Welcome to “Art, Culture & Books” with me Anthony King. Today I’ll be taking you on a photographic tour of Diana on the Stag by Paulus Ättinger which he created around around 1610 and it’s at the Bode Museum in Berlin, Germany. Now, this is a special piece… Diana was the twin sister of Apollo and the goddess of the moon.

As always, I take all the photos and videos myself on location, ensuring you get an up-close and personal view of the fascinating world of art and culture. I’ll be popping in and out with commentary as this video progresses but for now let’s take a close up look.

This incredible piece was created by Paulus Ättinger who was a German who was active in Regensburg. It’s made of silver, partially gilded, with pearl and gem inlay. There is very little information on him or even this piece of incredible art.

So what do we see? We see Diana Riding a Deer. Let me tell you the story, if I may.

Within Ovid’s Metamorphoses lies the captivating tale of Diana and Actaeon. Picture Actaeon, a young hunter immersed in his pursuit, stumbling upon Artemis bathing at a spring. This unexpected encounter unfolds as Artemis, surrounded by her nymphs, enjoys a bath in the spring. Startled, the nymphs react with surprise, attempting to shield Diana from Actaeon’s inadvertent intrusion. In a moment of vexed embarrassment, Diana retaliates by splashing water onto Actaeon. Just so you know, the Greek Goddess Artemis and her Roman equivalent Diana represent the same thing. Diana, infuriated and embarrassed by Actaeon’s glimpse of her naked form, enacts her retribution. She strips him of his ability to speak and transforms him into a stag, complete with antlers and a shaggy coat. Deprived of speech, Actaeon hastily flees in fear, setting the stage for the tragic turn of events.

The narrative takes a poignant twist as Actaeon, now resembling the very prey he once hunted, becomes the target of his own hounds. Unable to recognize their master, the hounds pursue and, tragically, bring about Actaeon’s demise. This myth stands as a testament to the consequences of unintended encounters and the inexorable forces of fate.

I must stress that if I close my eyes and think of all of the incredible art I saw in Berlin, this is very high up on the list. It is impressive and I think it’s one of those pieces which is walked passed and even in this video – it’s not particularly one which will be clicked which is a pity but please, if you get a chance to see this – do so!

By Anthony King (c)