Have you seen this painting?
LUNETTE 2 - Aracne sfida Minerva "Minerva Challenged by Arachne"
after Francesco Salviati c. 1560

Ovid, Metamorphoses 6: 5-145
The scene shows Arachne a young woman of Lydia who was famed for her skill in weaving sitting at the loom. A group of nymphs watches her weave a miraculous cloth depicting the loves of the gods. Minerva was so enraged by this and envious of Arachne's skill that she tore the cloth to pieces. Overcome with grief Arachne tires to hang herself but at the last moment Minerva takes pity on the girl and transforms her into a spider dangling from a thread.  Minerva is usually shown wearing her armour but in this scene such a costume is not evident. It is unlikely the goddess is represented as the old woman who lunges toward Arachne so she may be one of the figures standing. 

Any information about the whereabouts of the lunettes can be directed to Raichel Le Goff of Trinity College, Oxford who is conducting research on the Palazzo. All information will be treated with the utmost confidentiality. You can e-mail R. Le Goff or you can write to her at:
A.pt BARBERINI, 20 via dei Benci, Florence 50122 Italy. Telephone 055-242521

 Click on the links below to see the reproductions of the four lunettes and to read more about them

1. Le pieridi trasformate in cornacchie "The Pierids transformed into 

2. Aracne sfida Minerva "Minerva Challenged by Arachne"

3. Atteone trasformato in cervo "Actaeon transformed into a Stag"

4. Come Mida ebbe le orecchie d'asino "Midas with the ears of an Ass"

back to 

Back to Index Page for Raichel Le Goff


Best of the Web

©Electronic Publishing Corp.