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Europa (right), grieving after her rape by Jupiter, is consoled by Venus and Cupid (centre); Jupiter disguised as a bull looks on from the left background. Engraving by T. Cook and R. Pollard, 1797, after B. West, 1772.

  • West, Benjamin, 1738-1820.
Jany: 30th; 1797
  • Pictures

About this work


The depiction does not follow Ovid's account of Europa (Metamorphoses II.833-III.2), but Horace's in Odes III.27: Europa is not playing with her companions but adopts the pose of the melancholic. "As she grieves over her fate, Venus and Cupid come to cheer her, and Venus tells her that she is the wife of Jove, and will give her name to a continent" (von Erffa and Staley, loc. cit.). A border of short parallel lines surrounds the image


London (Braynes-Row, Spa-Fields) : Publish'd ... by R. Pollard printseller, Jany: 30th; 1797.

Physical description

1 print : line engraving, with etching ; image 39.5 x 52.2 cm


Jupiter & Europa. Painted by B. West, historical painter to his Majesty. Engraved by T. Cook & R. Pollard

References note

Helmut von Erffa and Allen Staley, The paintings of Benjamin West, New Haven 1986, pp. 238-239, no. 142

Lettering note

"The two engravings published after no. 142 [the painting of this subject] in 1797 and 1810 both bear misleading titles ... The title of the earlier print seems to be no more than a careless error, due perhaps to the fact that West painted no. 142 a quarter of a centuey before the print appeared"--von Erffa and Staley, loc. cit.


Wellcome Library no. 3154445i

Reproduction note

After a painting in the opposite direction in the William Benton Museum of Art, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn. (von Erffa and Staley, loc. cit.)



  • English

Where to find it

  • impression with author lettering and imprint croppped off
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