Maes was an astute businessman, and produced over 900 portraits, adapting his style to reflect the high fashion and decoration of the second half of the 17th century. But it is his ‘genre’ scenes – which often feature the central character eavesdropping and breaking the fourth wall to interact directly with the viewer – which best reveal Maes’s inventive and distinct style.
In 1551, Prince Philip of Spain, the future King Philip II, commissioned Titian, the most famous painter in Europe, to produce a group of paintings showing Classical myths primarily taken from the Roman poet Ovid’s ‘Metamorphoses’. The exhibition reunites all six paintings in the series, from Boston, Madrid, and London, for the first time in over four centuries. Included are ‘Diana and Actaeon’ and ‘Diana and Callisto’; works we own jointly with the National Galleries of Scotland.