If I were under the gun and needed to analyze a usage of classical mythology in short order, I'd probably go with Peter Paul Rubens' 1629 masterpiece "Minerva Protects Pax from Mars" which is also known as "Peace and War".
|Peter Paul Rubens painted Minerva into the background of the foreground's idyllic scene. Mars is no match for her.|
What makes it a compelling piece:
- Rubens is a principal painter of the Northern Baroque (so, there is much scholarship about him, his biography, and his craft);
- The National Gallery's website offers starting points for research, as does Reid's listing of sources ... and an updated (25 sept) OGCMA slide now offers some bibliography;
- The painting's iconography articulates clearly the important differences between Ares and Athena;
- The painting has a contextual history that is easy to understand within Rubens' career and its own historical backdrop;
- That little girl looking out of the painting invites me to step in and get involved. (Don't you agree?)