The 'princess Europe' exhibition in Brussels of october  2009 showed a surprising wall tapistery of the 19th century. Its appearance shows much resemblance with an Aubusson tapistry, "The Education of Apollo" in the Museum Grobet-Labadée in Marseille of the middle of the 18th century.


The tapisserie originates from Maison Braquenié, established in 1824 and became later Braquenié Frères at the chateau Ingelmunster, Belgium. The tapistry is 3,75 by 3, 45 m and part of the private collection 'Daniël Stevens'.

2011, january 1, Bruxelles


An unique interpretation of the Europe myth is represented on the oil of the Anglo/American painter, Benjamin West, 1738-1820. Born and grown up in America he came back to London in 1763 and became President of the Royal Academy of Arts. Europe, disturbed, sitting with her head bowed, listens to the encouraging words of goddess Venus, accompanied by her son Eros with arrow and bow.    


This interpretation is referring to the famous Europe poem of the classical Roman poet Horatius (p.75) "Ode to Galathea". Bull-Zeus is standing further in the field; the eagle flying above him indicates the presence of Zeus. The painting is from 1770 and is exhibited by the North Carolina Museum of Art, Raleigh,USA

The well-known American sculptor Paul Manship, 1885-1966, made various Europe statues and statuettes. One has been shown on p.66. His Europe statuettes can be found in different sizes in more than 20 American museums.   21_03

This bronze can be seen at the High Museum of Art of Atlanta, Georgia and is partly gilded.

Atlanta/Rotterdam,  1 february, 2011            Dr. P. van der Lubbe



Many Renaissance art cabinets were made in Flandre-Antwerp and were from table size up to full cabinet size. In southern Germany smaller, more box-like, art specimen are found. Some of them were painted on a bismuth base, which was found in the neighbourhood, and which gave the painting a silvery-glassy look. Overtime these colours became less and less transparent and more greyish. Below is a bismuth small cabinet, relatively large for the region, painted with Greek mythical figures and stories from the Metamorphoses of Ovide. The backside shows Europe on the bull in the sea; her friends looking rather relaxed, not aware of any danger.


21_04 21_05   



The German text even with the free 16th century  phonetically writing reads like a poor dialect:

               "Juppiter sich zum Ochsen Machtt;       Bisz er Europan davon Bracht

               Dergleichen oft Auch grossen Heren; dats durch Liebe sie zu Ochsen weren."  

Or in English:

                “Jupiter changes himself into an Oxen;   when he carried away Europe

                It also happens often to great men; out of Love they turn into Oxen."

This 16th century art cabinet originates  from Southern Germany and is about 50 to 40 cm. Spotted on the Brussels Antique Fair of February, 2011 at the stand of the Antiquaires De Pauw-Müller in Ghent.

Brussels 1 march, a visitor


In the 19th century atlasses and maps were no longer illustrated with views of towns, people and their costume attire, or stories from myths. When it happened, the illustrations are mostly minimal. The Nouvel atlas illustré, subtitle Géographie universele by A. Martineau, Paris, 1891 shows some examples.  One illustration is located on the Europe map.


Europe sits with marshall staff and cornucopia in her hands, figures as patroness of her continent. In order to identify Lady Europe more securely, we see next to her at some distance Europe riding away with the bull and some friends gesticulating behind her. The artists have signed below the illustration: Fillatreau for the design and Barbier as engraver.

Bruxelles,  april, 2011



You mention the Divina Commedia of Dante Alighieri in your study, (p.101), but  there is also a direct reference to Europe in his part III Heaven, XXVII, 82:

"So that I saw the mad track of Ulysses
Past Gades (Cadix, Spain) and this side, well nigh the shore
Whereon became Europe a sweet burden."

Translation, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, 1807-1882.

student, Leiden University, Easteren 2011


This reference is also found in an essay of Prof. Dr. Caroline Eckhardt,  Pennsylvania State University, titled:
One Third of the World? Europe Seen and Unseen in the Middle English Chronicles of the Fourteenth Century.

In her essay many known writers, mentioned in studies on the Greek European Myth come to the fore. But there are also some writers not mentioned in these works. Not only the reference to Dante, but also two references to the English poet Chaucer. In his poem Troitus and Criseyde, he writes:
                                                       "O Ioue ek, for the loue of faire Europe 
                                                        for which in forme of bole awey thow fette"
(Jove for his love of fair Europe, carries her off in the shape of a bull); ch.III, verse 722

And in his Legend of Good Women, "Agayn the sonne, that roos as rede as rose
                                                           That in the brest was of the beste that day
                                                            That Agenores doghter ladde away." (p.591)
(The sun came up, red as a rose, on the breast of the beast [in the Zodiac] that day, that Europe was carried away)

Another reference is from Gautier (Gessouin) de Metz, French priest & poet, mid 13th century. In his encyclopaedia
 Ymage du monde, we read : "As this figure says here, The other part took its name,
                                              From a king, who had the name Europe. Europe was named for him"
transl. William Caxton, 14th c.

Gautier translated this text from the Latin Encyclopedia by Honorius of Autun (died 1151). His Imago Mundi says:
"Europe is named after king Europe or after Europe, the daughter of Agenor". (I.21) And in his Synopsis of Ancient History he remarks: "... the rulers of the city of Sicyon, after Tantalus came Europe, who subjugated Europe and from who it is called Europe".


Cameo's have a longer history than Europe's myth. Up till our present Cameos are hand carved by individual artist.

In Italy, a more than hundred years old company is still producing and carving cameo's. They come in the form of rings, broches, earrings etc. and also can be made to order. Surely, these recently carved rings will interest you.

 21_08                                      21_09

  Carved from a Comelian shell                                                    Carved from  a Sardonyx shell     

These golden Cameo rings have been hand carved by the Cameo & Coral Factory CASCO- Scognamiglio at Torre del Greco at the feet of the Vesuvius.


May 1,  your webmaster 


  In the 18th century French translations of the Metamorphoses of Ovid were numerous. The first translation with commentary of L'Abbé Banier was issued in 1711. Illustrations in the first issues were limited. It is the 1787 edition, which has a large number, which features the story of Europe and Zeus. The frontpage indicates Renaud, member of the French Royal  Academy of painting, as the designer of the illustrations with Jacques-Joseph Coiny as the engraver (1761-1809). The activities of Coiny are well documented, but M. Renaud  - not a sign, and certainly not as a member of the French Royal Academy

21_10               21_11 

Even at that time, names and words were not always spelled in the same way. The closest name to Renaud in the list of members of the Royal French Academy of painting is Jean Baptiste Regnault, 1754-1829. On him, there is some documentation. In his early years he spent four years in Rome and signed his work up to 1787 with 'Renaud de Rome' (www.all-art.org/neoclassicism). That's a clear link. He became member of the Royal Academy in 1782/3, or before 1787. It is also mentioned that M.Regnault, and Coiny, both teached young Richmond, born in 1785 in the noble art of painting and engraving. Finally, he became a baron under the French empire, thus after 1787. After his death, thirty sketches of illustrations for Ovid's Metamorphoses were found. Taking all these facts together, there is no doubt, the full name of the designer of the 1787 illustrations is Baron Jean-Baptiste Regnault


Still in the 20th century Ovid' translation of l'Abbé Banier of 1732 was republished by  Presse de Coulouma, Paris, 1946
But the illustrations were updated. They came from Jean A. Mercier, 1899-1995.


Mercier was a well-known 'affichiste', illustrator, engraver and painter. He illustrated many childrenbooks. His style is rather sweet-romantic, which is reflected in his Europe and bull/zeus.

.Antwerp, June 1, 2011        Peter H. Gommers