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Jupiter defeating the Giants with the help of Hercules and Minerva

Jupiter defeating the Giants with the help of Hercules and Minerva

Technical details

  • Author Francisco Bayeu y Subías
  • Title Jupiter defeating the Giants with the help of Hercules and Minerva
  • Timeline 1767
  • Technique Óleo sobre lienzo


Jupiter defeating the Giants with the help of Hercules and Minerva is the definitive study, or “modello” for presentation that Francisco Bayeu made for the fresco to decorate the ceiling of the first antechamber of the Princes' Chamber (now the small dining room) in the royal palace in Madrid. The fresco was executed by Bayeu between February and late September 1768, which means that this final study would have been completed at the end of 1767. Unlike the previous study, which forms part of the Prado Museum collection, this study belonging to the Royal Aragonese Economic Society of Friends of the Country shows the final iconographic changes made by the artist to the extensive and complex composition. The study shows great chromatic beauty and Rococo sensibility in Bayeu's style of painting. Inspired by Ovid's Metamorphoses, the artist created a pyramidal composition, in which Jupiter is about to hurl his thunderbolt against the Titans, who have rebelled against him. In the lower part, Hercules with his club and Minerva with her shield and spear come to his aid in such violent combat. The Titan Typhon, leader of the revolt, is struck down by Jupiter's thunderbolt and falls from Mount Etna, depicted with striking foreshortening. Two excellent portrayals of Titans by Francisco Bayeu, one already dead and the other struck down by Hercules, are an example of the methodical way in which Bayeu worked to prepare the large compositions for his mural paintings.

Location in the museum

You may find this artwork on  Floor 2 Goya Hall