Hunting Meleagra and Atalanta by Nicolas Poussin

Hunting Meleagra and Atalanta by Nicolas Poussin

Meleager is the son of the ruler of the Calydon kingdom in Aetolia. He grew up a brave, handsome young man and, together with the Argonauts, went to Colchis. While he was absent, his father forgot to bring an annual tribute to Diana, and the goddess in punishment for this sent a monstrous boar to his kingdom, who devoured people and devastated the fields.

Returning from a hike, Meleager gathered all the brave men of Greece and made a great hunt, during which they were going to catch or kill the boar. Many heroes, including the beautiful Atalanta, responded to the call of Meleager.

This princess led

a life full of adventures, because when she was born, her father, distressed by the fact that instead of the long-awaited son, a daughter was born, ordered her to be carried to the Parthenon mountain and given to be devoured by wild beasts. But passing by hunters saw a bear, who fed the baby, completely unafraid of her, and, having regretted the girl, brought her to her home and raised her as a real hunter.

The great Calydonian hunt was led by Meleager and Atalanta, who fell in love with each other. They bravely pursued the beast, and other hunters galloped after them. The wild boar ran, and then Atalanta inflicted a mortal wound on him, but, dying, the beast almost killed her herself if Meleager had not arrived in time and finished him off.

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