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This is a sketch for one of four decorative canvases painted for the Hall at Moor Park, Hertfordshire. The series illustrates the story of Jupiter and Io from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Jupiter seduced Io and changed her into a white heifer – on the left here – to hide his infidelity. But Jupiter’s wife Juno discovered the truth and sent Mercury, on the right, to kill her. Giacomo Amiconi was born in Venice and he worked in London from 1729-39. He became a successful portrait painter and a scenery designer at Covent Garden Theatre.

May 2007