Michel Corneille II, ‘Juno asking Aeolus to release the winds’, Christie's Old Masters

This drawing is related to a watercolor by Corneille representing the same composition (Anonymous sale; Paris, Drouot, 27 April 1990, lot 45). Another more elaborate study in pen and wash, from the Lemonnier Collection, is now in the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen (Dessins français du XVIIe siècle dans les collections publiques françaises, exhib. cat., Paris, Musée du Louvre, 1993, no. 147). According to Jean-Claude Boyer, this study could relate to a ceiling of the 'Grand cabinet' in the now-destroyed hôtel particulier where Jules Hardouin-Mansart lived in Paris.

The subject is taken from Virgil's Aeneid. The goddess Juno, consumed by jealousy toward Venus, schemed to prevent the fleet of her rival's son, Aeneas, from reaching shore and establishing a Trojan colony in Italy. Juno visits Aeolus, keeper of the winds, and urges him to unleash their fury, thus provoking a violent storm that would destroy Aeneas's fleet.

Christian Humann; Sotheby's, New York, 5 June 1982, lot 12.

About Michel Corneille II

French, 1642-1708, Paris, France, based in Paris, France

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