School of Fontainebleau end of the 16th century. Work of a painter from Toussaint Dubreuil's entourage.
Our painting relates the episode in which Proserpine (abducted by Pluto) is about to taste the fruits of the Underworld. The story reports that she could no longer escape from the Underworld as soon as she had bitten in one of these fruits. The mythological parable can be compared with that of Genesis and the forbidden fruit.
Specific in the late Mannerism and of the Second School of Fontainebleau, our subject approaches mythology through the prism of feminine beauty. Proserpine's nonchalance and his lascivious look offer a great sensuality at work.
The small monkey that stands near the basket (bottom right) personifies the sense of taste. He confirms that the goddess will crunch the fruit. In the background, we see the residence of her husband burning. Souls fall there and are pushed by a "devil" brandishing his fork.
Oil on oak panel engineered affixed on wood panel. In its carved wooden frame of style.
Dimensions: 48 x 62 cm the sight - 68 x 82 cm with the frame
Proserpine, the fruit of the loves of Jupiter and Ceres, was rapted by Pluto - God of Hell - while she was gathering flowers. She marries him and becomes the goddess of Hell. His story is recorded in Book V of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" (43 BC-17 AD), but also in "Le Rapt de Proserpine" by the poet Claudian (370 - 404 AD).
Toussaint Dubreuil (Paris 1561 - Paris November 22, 1602) is the pupil of Médéric Fréminet, but his training is perfect during his participation in the major building sites of Fontainebleau. There he probably collaborates with Ruggiero de Ruggieri.
Painter of Henri IV, he realizes many decors. His works painted for Fontainebleau or Saint-Germain-en-Laye were all destroyed.
Dubreuil, beyond his Mannerist inspiration, displays a certain taste for details. He also surrounded himself with many Nordic painters in his studio. With Martin Fréminet and Ambroise Dubois, he is one of the leaders of the second school of Fontainebleau.