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Caryatids Room
Roman art
Julio-Claudian Period
Late Antiquity
Gaul, Africa and Syria

Artemis With a Doe,
Known as “Diana of Versailles”
MR 152
Sully room 17
Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting,
called Diana by the Romans, was often
shown armed with a bow and
accompanied by a doe.
Her aspect of goddess of the moon
is at times evoked by the moon and stars encircling her head. Here she is wearing
a tunic pulled up around her knees
to make it easier to run.
This statue, placed in the centre of the room built for Henry II, is a romantic allusion
to the King’s mistress, Diane de Poitiers.

Artemis With a Doe, Known as Diana of Versailles

Artemis of Ephesus could only be likened to her from afar (Acts 19:28). Unlike the virginal Greek Artemis, she was an opulent goddess of fertility and one of the mother-goddess figures. A famous statue shows her with a black face, hands and feet. The imposing temple that is dedicated to her is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the world. Significant trade was built up around her cult. AR13
Considered one of the Seven Wonders
of the Ancient World, the temple of Artemis of Ephesus was dedicated to the goddess of hunting. Only the foundations and a column remain of this temple that once measured 130m (425 feet) long, 65m (220 feet) wide and 18m (60 feet) high.
The effective ministry of Paul in this city was considered a threat to this temple (Acts 19:27).
Ruins of the temple of Artemis

The Artemis of Ephesus, A mother-goddess figures

A close relationship has been established with ‘the great Artemis of Ephesians’ (Acts 19:28) and the major goddesses of other peoples. Close analogies exist between her and Cybele, the Phrygian goddess, as well as other female representations of divine power in the countries of Asia (Ma of Cappadocia, Astarte of Phoenicia, and Atargatis (Br 4480) and Myletta of Syria) and it could be said that all these divinities are merely variations of one and the same religious concept.
Artemis of Ephesus              CA 1202
Sully 1st floor
room 37 showcase 1 (3)

The goddess’s body is sheathed
in a narrow tunic, decorated with
rows of superimposed breasts or
bulls’ testicles, symbols of fertility.
She is wearing a high calathos
on her head. AR19
She was represented with all the attributes of the Mother of the Gods and accordingly she wore a crown of towers, reminiscent of the Tower of Babel. AR15

 Artemis of Ephesus

“Great is Ar´te·mis
of the E·phe´sians!”
Acts 19:28
Ephesus was the crucible where the pagan
cult of the mother-goddess was Christianised
and transformed into the fervent worship
of Mary, who became
“Mother of God”. AR16, AR17
It was to the Christians of Ephesus that Paul the Apostle announced such a change of direction.  - Acts 20:17-30, 2 Thessalonians 2:3, note.
In 431 AD, the third ecumenical council held in this city gave Mary the title of 'Theotokos’, a Greek word meaning ‘God-bearer’. The use of this title by the Church was a determining factor in the development of the Doctrine of Mary. The prototype of Feast of the Assumption processions could be seen in those made in honour of Cybele and Artemis. AR18


Carte Chronologie Antiquités OrientalesAntiquités EgyptiennesArtmis  la biche et desses-mresAphrodite et l Haut de page