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The Reign of Comus


Lorenzo Costa, The Reign of Comus, 1507
tempera on canvas - 152 cm x 238 cm -
 © [Louvre.edu] - Photo Erich Lessing

Study of the painting

1. Which element divides the painting into two parts ? Which characters can you identify to the right of this element? What is their role ?
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2. On the left, which of the landscape's elements designates King Comus ? He is looking at a woman. Who is she ? What makes the character to the right of Comus recognizable as Apollo ? Who is the woman sitting at his feet ?
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3. Two characters are positioned in the immediate foreground. What enables you to identify the male character ? Of which other famous sleeper does the female character remind us ?
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4. How many distances can you distinguish, beginning with the foreground ? Can you describe the landscape in the background ?
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5. In your opinion, how important is Dionysos in this painting ?
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