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David I Teniers (attributed)
(Flemish School / 1582 - 1649)
Mercury Lulling Argus to Sleep
€ 10 000 - 15 000 Oil on copper - 55 x 73 cm -
Viewed with Argus eyes
In his Metamorphoses Ovid tells the story of Argus and Mercury. The 100-eyed giant Argus had been appointed by Iuno to guard the priestess Io, transformed into a cow. Since he only closed 2 of his 100 eyes at a time, nothing could escape his sight. Mercury, however, managed to put Argus completely to sleep with his flute playing and set Io free. This popular theme was depicted by Peter Paul Rubens and Jacob Jordaens, among others.