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Saturday, 21 January 2012

Goddess Artemis/ Diana

                                                              Edited April 13, 2012

ARTEMIS, (Roman Diana) one of the great divinities of the Greeks. Her name is usually derived from artemês, uninjured, healthy, vigorous; according to which she would be the goddess who is herself inviolate and vigorous, and also grants strength and health to others.
According to the Homeric account and Hesiod (Theog. 918) she was the daughter of Zeus and Leto, whence Aeschylus (Sept. 148) calls her lêtôgeneia. She was the sister of Apollo, and born with him at the same time in the island of Delos. According to a tradition which Pausanias (viii. 37. § 3) found in Aeschylus, Artemis was a daughter of Demeter, and not of Leto, while according to an Egyptian story (Herod. ii. 156) she was the daughter of Dionysus and Isis, and Leto was only her nurse. But these and some other legends are only the results of the identification of the Greek Artemis with other local or foreign divinities.

                  Rubens, Diana with her nymphs, departing for the hunt

1. Artemis as the sister of Apollo, is a kind of female Apollo, that is, she as a female divinity represented the same idea that Apollo did as a male divinity. This relation between the two is in many other cases described as the relation of husband and wife, and there seems to have been a tradition which actually described Artemis as the wife of Apollo. (Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1197.) In the character of sister of Apollo, Artemis is like her brother armed with a bow, quiver, and arrows, and sends plague and death among men and animals : she is a thea apollousa. Sudden deaths, but more especially those of women, are described as the effect of her arrows. (Hom. Il. vi. 205, 427, &c., xix. 59, xxi. 483, &c.; Od. xi. 172, &c., 324, xv. 478, xviii. 202, xx. 61, &c., v. 124, &c.) She also acts sometimes in conjunction with her brother.
As Apollo was not only a destructive god, but also averted the evils which it was in his power to inflict, so Artemis was at the same time a thea sôteira; that is, she cured and alleviated the sufferings of mortals.

To view Apollo click here and here and here       

                                                Lucas Cranach the Elder Apollo and Diana       

Artemis is moreover, like Apollo, unmarried; she is a maiden divinity never conquered by love. (Soph. Elect. 1220.) The priests and priestesses devoted to her service were bound to live pure and chaste, and trangressions of their vows of chastity were severely punished.

When Apollo was regarded as identical with the sun or Helios, nothing was more natural than that his sister should be regarded as Selene or the moon, and accordingly the Greek Artemis is, at least in later times, the goddess of the moon.

2. The Arcadian Artemis is a goddess of the nymphs, and was worshipped as such in Arcadia in very early times. Her sanctuaries and temples were more numerous in this country than in any other part of Greece. There was no connexion between the Arcadian Artemis and Apollo, nor are there any traces here of the ethical character which is so prominent in Artemis, the sister of Apollo.

                                                       Francois Clouet, Diana Bathing                

                                  Rubens, Diana and her nymphs surprised by Satyrs

                            Johannes Vermeer, Diana and her Companions

3. The Taurian Artemis. The legends of this goddess are mystical, and her worship was orgiastic and connected, at least in early times, with human sacrifices. According to the Greek legend there was in Tauris a goddess, whom the Greeks for some reason identified with their own Artemis. and to whom all strangers that were thrown on the coast of Tauris, were sacrificed.
Iphigeneia and Orestes brought her image from thence, and landed at Brauron in Attica, whence the goddess derived the name of Brauronia. (Paus. i. 23. § 9, 33. § 1, iii. 16, in fin.) The Brauronian Artemis was worshipped at Athens and Sparta, and in the latter place the boys were scourged at her altar in such a manner that it became sprinkled with their blood. This cruel ceremony was believed to have been introduced by Lycurgus, instead of the human sacrifices which had until then been offered to her. (Dict. of Ant. s. v. Braurônia and Diamastigôsis.)
Her name at Sparta was Orthia, with reference to the phallus, or because her statue stood erect.

A kindred divinity, if not the same as the Taurian Artemis, is Artemis tauropolos, whose worship was connected with bloody sacrifices, and who produced madness in the minds of men, at least the chorus in the Ajax of Sophocles, describes the madness of Ajax as the work of this divinity.

The representations of the Greek Artemis in works of art are different accordingly as she is represented either as a huntress, or as the goddess of the moon; yet in either case she appears as a youthful and vigorous divinity, as becomes the sister of Apollo. As the huntress, she is tall, nimble, and has small hips; her forehead is high, her eyes glancing freely about, and her hair tied up behind in such a manner, that some locks float down her neck; her breast is covered, and the legs up to the knees are naked, the rest being covered by the chlamys. Her attributes are the bow, quiver, and arrows, or a spear, stags, and dogs.

                                               Fountain of Diana, Louvre
 Simon Vouet, Diana

 Jacob JORDAENS,The Rest of Diana

                                           Diana, Vatican Museum

                                     The Diana of Versailles a 2nd Century marble statue of Diana, copied from an earlier Greek original.                 

To view statues of Diana click  here
Diana received lots of attention.

As the goddess of the moon, she wears a long robe which reaches down to her feet, a veil covers her head, and above her forehead rises the crescent of the moon. In her hand she often appears holding a torch.

 Artemis holding torches. Marble, Roman copy of the 2nd century AD Vatican Museum

Aktaion is transformed into a stag (indicated by the pair of horns) by Artemis, and torn apart by his dogs. Artemis is depicted with flaming torch and quiver. She is attended by Lyssa (raving madness) who drives the dogs to fury. Lyssa is depicted as a Thracian huntress (similar to Bendis) with a fox-head cap. Zeus passively observes the scene. ca 440 BC 

Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 879 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Artemis, standing in her golden chariot after she has bathed in the gently water of Parthenios or the streams of Amnisos, and driving off with her fast-trotting deer over the hills and far away to some rich-scented sacrifice. Attendant Nymphai have gathered at the source of Amnisos or flocked in from the glens and upland springs to follow her; and fawning beasts whimper in homage and tremble as she passes by."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 37. 1 (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[From a description of a cult statue:] Artemis wrapped in the skin of a deer, and carrying a quiver on her shoulders, while in one hand she holds a torch, in the other two serpents; by her side a bitch, of a breed suitable for hunting, is lying down."

                                                     Domenichino, The Hunt of Diana

  Boucher, Francois Boucher, Diana returning from hunt

Homeric Hymn 27 to Artemis (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C.) : 
"Over the shadowy hills and windy peaks she [Artemis] draws her golden bow, rejoicing in the chase, and sends out grievous shafts. The tops of the high mountains tremble and the tangled wood echoes awesomely with the outcry of beasts: earth quakes and the sea also where fishes shoal. But the goddess with a bold heart turns every way destroying the race of wild beasts: and when she is satisfied and has cheered her heart, this huntress who delights in arrows slackens her supple bow and goes to the great house of her dear brother Phoibos Apollon."

                                               Diana huntress, by Houdon, Louvre

 Diana (1892 - 93), Augustus Saint-Gaudens. Bronze, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City


Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 879 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Artemis, standing in her golden chariot . . . driving off with her fast-trotting deer over the hills and far away to some rich-scented sacrifice."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48. 449 ff :
"Artemis the maiden entered her car with its team of four prickets [the golden-horned deer], left the mountain and drove back to Phrygia."

Detail of Artemis driving a deer-drawn biga (two steed chariot) from a painting depicting the death of Actaeon. The goddess holds a bow in one hand and wears a crown and veil. ca 460-440 BC


"Thence departing (and thy hounds sped with thee) thou dist find by the base of the Parrhasian hill [in Arkadia] deer gamboling - a mighty herd. They always herded by the banks of the black-pebbled Anauros - larger than bulls, and from their horns shone gold. And thou wert suddenly amazed and saidst to thine own heart: ‘This would be a first capture worthy of Artemis.’ Five were there in all; and four thou didst take by speed of foot - without the chase of dogs - to draw thy swift car. But one escaped over the river Keladon, by devising of Hera, that it might be in the after days a labour for Herakles, and the Keryneian hill received her. Artemis, Parthenos (lady of Maidenhood), Tityoktone (Slayer of Tityos), golden were thine arms and golden thy belt, and a golden car didst thou yoke, and golden bridles, goddess, didst thou put on thy deer. And where first did thy horned team begin to carry thee? To Thrakian Haimos, whence comes the hurricane of Boreas bringing evil breath of frost to cloakless men.

  The goddess Artemis drives a (biga) chariot drawn by a pair of horse-sized 450 - 425 BC


Homer, Iliad 21. 470 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Artemis of the wilderness (agrotera), lady of wild beasts (potnia theron)."
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 3. 879 ff (trans. Rieu) (Greek epic C3rd B.C.) :
"Driving off with her fast-trotting deer over the hills . . . fawning beasts whimper in homage and tremble as she [Artemis] passes by."
Homer, Odyssey 6. 102 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Artemis far-shooting (iokheaira) ranges the mountainside - on lofty Taygetos, it may be, or it may be on Erymanthos - taking her pleasure among the boars and the running deer; Nymphai of the countryside (agronomoi), daughters of Zeus who holds the aigis, are all around her and share her pastime; Leto her mother is glad at heart. With head and forehead Artemis overtops the rest, and though all are lovely, there is no mistaking which is she."

Detail of Art emis, here depicted as the Potnia Theron (Lady of the Beasts), from the Francois Vase. The goddess is winged, and grasps a panther (or lioness) and stag by the neck.
ca 570 - 560 BC


Artemis was a dawn-goddess, the bringer of light, and crop-destroying frost. This role was later devolved to Eos (the dawn personified, a goddess developed in Homeric epic).

Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 10 ff (trans. Mair) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"[The child Artemis asks Zeus for divine privileges:] ‘But give me to be Phaesphoria (Bringer of Light).’"

Callimachus, Hymn 3 to Artemis 188 ff :
"[Artemis], O queen, fairfaced Bringer of Light."


Artemis was the goddess of childbirth. She was invoked during labour along with Hera-Eileithyia, the goddess protector of women and labour. Whereas Hera-Eileithyia was the patron of mothers in childbirth, Artemis was the patron-protector of the infant. Indeed, as a baby herself, Artemis was said to have helped her mother in the delivery of her twin brother Apollo.

Scholiast on Homer's Iliad (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric I Alcaeus Fragment 390) (Greek scholia B.C.) :
"Chrysippus in his Old Physics, shows that Artemis is Selene and credits it with an influence on childbirth, says that at the full moon not only do women have the easiest labour but all animals have an easy birth."


Artemis was the goddess who brought sudden death to infants, girls and women, for she was not only the protector of girls, but also by contrast their destroyer.
Apollon, possessed the complimentary role, bringing sudden death, illness and disease to boys and men.

Homer, Iliad 21. 470 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Zeus has made you [Artemis] a lion among women, and given you leave to kill any at your pleasure."
Homer, Iliad 6. 205 ff :
"Artemis of the golden reigns (khrysenios) killed [Ladomeia] the daughter [of Bellerophontes] in anger."


Artemis, like her brother Apollon, was regarded as a goddess of healing. It was a role that countered her position as the goddess of sudden death, illness and disease.
Homer, Iliad 5. 447 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
"Apollon caught [the wounded] Aineias now away from the onslaught, and set him in the sacred keep of Pergamos [in Troy] where was built his own temple. There Artemis of the showering arrows (iokheaira) and Leto within the great and secret chamber healed his wound and cared for him."


The identification of Selene with Artemis was a late invention, perhaps coinciding with the introduction of the Thracian goddess Bendis into Greece. Bendis was a foreign goddess presiding over the moon, magic and wild animals (for the Greeks an apparent merging of their three goddesses Selene-Hecate-Artemis).

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 2. 27 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"The name Apollo is Greek; they say that he is the Sun, and Diana [Artemis] they identify with the Moon . . . the name Luna is derived from lucere ‘to shine’; for it is the same word as Lucina, and therefore in our country Juno Lucina is invoked in childbirth, as is Diana in her manifestation as Lucifera (the light-bringer) among the Greeks. She is also called Diana Omnivaga (wide-wandering), not from her hunting, but because she is counted as one of the seven planets or ‘wanderers’ (vagary). She was called Diana because she made a sort of Day (Dia) in the night-time. She is invoked to assist at the birth of children, because the period of gestation is either occasionally seven, or more usually nine, lunar revolutions, and these are called menses (months), because they cover measured (mensa) spaces."

Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 19 :
"Sol the Sun and Luna the Moon are deities, and the Greeks identify the former with Apollo and the latter with Diana [Artemis]."

 Anthon Raphael Mengs Apollo, Hesperus, and Diana

To view Luciferus [Hesperus] click here

To view  goddess Selene click here


Artemis was frequently identified with the goddess Hekate. In the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, Artemis the playmate of Persephone perhaps becomes Hekate, the companion of Demeter in the search for her stolen daughter. Hekatos (the far-shooter) was also a common Homeric epithet applied to Artemis' brother Apollon. Depictions of the two goddesses were near identical. The attributes they had in common included a short-skirt and hunting boots, torches and a hunting dog.

Aeschylus, Suppliant Women 674 ff (trans. Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"We pray that other guardians be always renewed, and that Artemis-Hecate watch over the childbirth of their women."

"O Artemis, thou maid divine, Diktynna, huntress, fair to see, O bring that keen-nosed pack of thine, and hunt through all the house with me. O Hecate, with flameful brands." - Aristophanes, Frogs 1358

"Aeetes succeeded to the throne, and then, founding a temple of Artemis [usually described as a temple of Hecate, but the author equates the two] and commanding that strangers who landed there should be sacrificed to the goddess." - Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4.45.1

Hecate (or Artemis) is here depicted crowned and holding a pair of burning torches. ca 500 - 450 BC


The triad Hecate-Artemis-Selene was popular in Roman-era poetry.

"[Statius, in the passage that follows describes Artemis as a triple goddess incorporating: Artemis-Hecate-Selene:] Cynthia, queen of the mysteries of the night, if as they say thou dost vary in threefold wise the aspect of thy godhead, and in different shape comes down into the woodland ... The goddess stooped her horns and made bright her kindly star, and illumined the battle-field with near-approaching chariot." - Statius, Thebaid 10.365

"[The witch Medea summons the power of Hecate:] `I see Trivia’s [Hecate-Selene-Artemis] swift gliding car, not as when, radiant, with full face [i.e. the moon], she drives the livelong night, but as when, ghastly, with mournful aspect, harried by Thessalian threats, she skirts with nearer rein the edge of heaven. So do thou wanly shed form thy torch a gloomy light through air; terrify the peoples with new dread, and let precious Corinthian bronzes resound, Dictynna [Artemis-Selene], to thy aid. To thee on the altar’s bloody turf we perform thy solemn rites." - Seneca, Medea 787

To view goddess Hecate and Medea click here


Artemis was identified with the goddess Despoine (Mistress) who was probably an Arkadian form of Hecate, the Khthonian Artemis of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

Aeschylus, Fragment 188 (from Orion, Etymologicum 26. 5) (trans. Weir Smyth) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
"Mistress maiden (despoina nymphê), ruler of the stormy mountains." [N.B. Here Despoina (Mistress) is used as an epithet for the goddess Artemis.]

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 23. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"The Kaphyatans [Kaphye, Arkadia] . . . have also a mountain called Knakalos, where every year they celebrate mysteries in honor of their Artemis."


Artemis was identified with the Roman goddess Diana, the Thrakian goddess Bendis and the Egyptian goddess Bastet.

BENDIS was the Thracian goddess of the moon and hunting who was worshipped with Bacchic-like orgies in the wilds of Thrake.
The Greeks identified her with the goddesses Artemis, Hecate and Selene (the Moon)..

Herodotus, Histories 5. 7 (trans. Godley) (Greek historian C5th B.C.) :
"They [the Threikoi or Thracians] worship no gods but Ares, Dionysos, and Artemis [the Thrakian gods Ares, Sabazios and Bendis]. Their princes . . . worship Hermes [Zalmoxis]."
Herodotus, Histories 4. 33 :
"When the Thrakian and Paionian women sacrifice to the Artemis Basileis (Royal) [i.e. Bendis], they have straw with them while they sacrifice."

Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 16 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Also resembling these rites [the sacred rites of Rhea and Dionysus] are the Kotytian (Cotytian) and the Bendideian rites practiced among the Thrakians, among whom the Orphic rites had their beginning." 

To view Dionysian Mysteries click here

To view god Dionysus click  here

Herodotus, Histories 2. 137 :
"Boubastis [in Egypt] where there is also a temple of Boubastis [the Egyptian goddess Bastet] . . . Boubastis is, in the Greek language, Artemis."

Herodotus, Histories 2. 155 :
"Bouto is the name of the city where this [great Egyptian] oracle is; I have already mentioned it. In Bouto there is a temple of Apollon and Artemis [the Egyptian gods Horus and Bastet]. The shrine of Leto [Egyptian goddess Uto] where the oracle is."

To view goddess Baset click here

 The Thracian goddess Bendis, dressed in a northern body suit, and wielding a hunting spear, is greeted by the gods Apollon and Hermes. Apollon is seated on a rock, wearing a quiver, and holding in one hand a laurel branch, and the other a hare, which he offers to the goddess. Hermes wears a petasos (traveller's cap) and leans on his caduceus wand.  ca 370 - 360 BC


I) DEER (Greek elaphos)
Strabo, Geography 5. 1. 9 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
"Among the Henetoi [of northern Italy] . . . in the sacred precincts [of Artemis] the wild animals become tame, and deer herd with wolves, and they allow the people to approach and caress them, and any that are pursued by dogs are no longer pursued when they have taken refuge here."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 7. 18. 8 :
"The festival [of Artemis at Patrai] begins with a most splendid procession in honor of Artemis, and the maiden officiating as priestess rides last in the procession upon a car yoked to deer."

Many of Artemis' shrines are described as containing sacred springs which presumably held fish sacred to the goddess, like that of Syrakousa described below. She was also the goddess of the lakes, with temples of Artemis Limnaia (Lady of the Lake) being erected on their shores.

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 5. 2. 3 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Nymphai [Naiades of Sicilian Syrakousa], to please Artemis, caused a great fountain to gush forth to which was given the name Arethousa. And not only in ancient times did this fountain contain large fish in great numbers, but also in our own day we find these fish still there, considered to be sacred [to Artemis] and not to be touched by men."

Actaeon  in Greek mythology, son of the priestly herdsman Aristaeus and Autonoe in Boeotia, was a famous Theban hero. Like Achilles in a later generation, he was trained by the centaur Chiron.
He fell to the fatal wrath of Artemis, but the surviving details of his transgression vary: "the only certainty is in what Aktaion suffered, his pathos, and what Artemis did: the hunter became the hunted; he was transformed into a stag, and his raging hounds, struck with a 'wolf's frenzy' (Lyssa), tore him apart as they would a stag." This is the iconic motif by which Actaeon is recognized, both in ancient art and in Renaissance and post-Renaissance depictions.

Aeschylus, Toxotides (lost play) (Greek tragedy C5th B.C.) :
Aeschylus' Toxotides told the story of Aktaion who was turned into a stag and torn apart by his own dogs. According to Weir Smyth (L.C.L.) "The common version of the legend--that he was punished by Artemis for having seen her bathing--seems to have been adopted by Aeschylus. The Chorus of Archer-Maidens (Toxotides) were nymphs, attendants of Artemis in the chase."

                              Actaeon Surprising Diana (Artemis) in the bath, Titian 

 Eugène Ferdinand Victor Delacroix, Diana Surprised by Actaeon

                                    Diana and Actaeon Lucan Cranach the Elder

                                    Francois Boucher, Diana Leaving her Bath

           Hendrik van Balen the Elder, Diana Turns Actaeon into a Stag

                                   Giuseppe Cesari, Diana and Actaeon  
                       Jan Brueghel and Jacques de Backer Diana and Actaeon

In Greek mythology, Callisto or Kallisto  was a nymph of Artemis. Transformed into a bear and set among the stars, she was the bear-mother of the Arcadians, through her son Arcas.

Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 1 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Great Bear [the constellation Ursa Major] Some, too, have said that when Callisto was embraced by Jove [Zeus], Juno [Hera] in anger turned her into a bear; then, when she met Diana [Artemis] hunting, she was killed by her, and later, on being recognised, was placed among the stars."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 8. 3. 6 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"Callisto was loved by Zeus and mated with him. When Hera detected the intrigue she turned Kallisto into a bear, and Artemis to please Hera shot the bear."

Hesiod, The Astronomy Fragment 3 (from Pseudo-Eratosthenes, Catasterismi Frag 1.2) (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or 7th B.C.) :
"The Great Bear [Constellation Ursa Major] . Hesiod says she [Callisto] was the daughter of Lycaon and lived in Arcadia. She chose to occupy herself with wild-beasts in the mountains together with Artemis, and, when she was seduced by Zeus, continued some time undetected by the goddess, but afterwards, when she was already with child, was seen by her bathing and so discovered. Upon this, the goddess was enraged and changed her into a beast. Thus she became a bear and gave birth to a son called Arkas . . . but [later] Zeus delivered her because of her connection with him and put her among the stars, giving her the name Bear (Arktos) because of the misfortune which had befallen her." 

                                          Rubens, Diana and Callisto

                                                     Diana and Callisto Titian

                                                  Dosso Dossi, Diana and Calisto

 Sebastiono Ricci,  Diana and Callisto

 Jan van Haensbergen, Diana Callisto

In Greek mythology , Endymion  is a king of Elis (or a simple shepherd according to other versions), lover of Selene , goddess of the moon , or Artemis , with whom Selene is often confused from the fifth century BC.

                                       Nicolas Poussin Diane and Endymion

                                    Rubens, Diane and Endymion

                                                   Diana and Endymion

                                   Diane and Endymion, by Jérôme Martin Langlois

                             Selene and Endymion  Attributed to Johann Carl Loth

                                             François Chauveau Selene and Endymion

  Luna Lucifera too, with a crescent on her head:
Diana Lucifera was also depicted on many Roman coins, some coins dating back during the Roman Republic.

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E3. 21 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"[The seer] Kalkhas announced that they [the Greek army headed to Troy] would not be able to sail unless the most beautiful of Agamemnon’s daughters was offered as a sacrificial victim to Artemis . . . Agamemnon placed her [Iphigeneia] on the altar and was about to sacrifice her when Artemis spirited her off to the Taurians, where she set her up as her own priestess; she put a deer on the altar in the girl’s place. Also, according to some, she made Iphigeneia immortal."

 Iphigeneia is dragged to the altar by two soldiers as a sacrificial offering to Artemis C1st AD 

Villa Durazzo Pallavicini - Temple of Diana. Pegli, Italy

 La Fontana di Diana a Siracusa, in Piazza Archimede, Italy

The Palace of Versailles

Grands apartments

As a result of Le Vau’s enveloppe of Louis XIII’s château, the king and the queen had new apartments in the new addition, known at the time as the château neuf. The grands appartements, which are known respectively as the grand appartement du roi and the grand appartement de la reine, occupied the main or principal floor of the château neuf. Le Vau’s design for the state apartments closely followed Italian models of the day, as evidenced by the placement of the apartments on the next floor up from the ground level – the piano nobile – a convention the architect borrowed from 16th and 17th century Italian palace design (Berger, 1986; Verlet, 1985).

Grand appartement du roi

Le Vau’s plan called for an enfilade of seven rooms, each dedicated to one of the then known planets and their associated titular Roman deity. Le Vau’s plan was bold as he designed a heliocentric system that centred on the Salon of Apollo. The salon d’Apollon originally was designed as the king’s bedchamber, but served as a throne room. During the reign of Louis XIV (until 1689), a solid silver throne stood on a Persian carpet covered dais on the south wall of this room (Berger, 1986; Dangeau, 1854–1860; Josephson, 1926; 1930; Verlet, 1985).
The original arrangement of the enfilade of rooms was:

To view Apollo Salon click here

DIANE ET ENDYMION ; Salon : Salon de Diane, Grands appartements du Château de Versailles

 DIANE ET ACTEON ; Salon : Salon de Diane, Grands appartements du Château de Versailles

 SACRIFICE A DIANE ; Salon : Salon de Diane