Jupiter: animus as painter

Ferrara, Mantua, Pesaro (Jupiter, Mercury and the Virtue) by Dosso Dossi1515 and 1518. Heald at the Wawel Royal Castle
Ferrara, Mantua, Pesaro (Jupiter, Mercury and the Virtue) by Dosso Dossi 1515 and 1518. Heald at the Wawel Royal Castle

In the image above by Dosso Dossi, we see Jupiter, Mercury and the Virtue. The image is based on a dialogue written by Leon Battista Alberti. In the imag, Jupiter is the painter. He is using the colors of the rainbow to capture the “infinitely ephemeral, gratuitous beauty of the butterfly wing.” [1] “Virtue, scorned by Fortune and by humankind” wishes to complain to Jupiter, but Mercury stops her. He tells her to be silent, for “the master is composing”[1]

Carl Jung tells us that “the animus often appears as a painter.”  In this image, Jupiter offers an image of the animus. He is an image of the capacity for representation through his ability to paint the “ephemeral, gratuitous beauty of the butterfly wing.”  Jung tells us that to the animus plays the function of representation, “of mediating between conscious and unconscious”. Jung says:

“The animus [plays] the function mediating between conscious and unconscious: the unconscious contains pictures which are transmitted, that is, made manifest, by the animus, either as fantasies or, unconsciously, in the patient’s own life and actions. The animus-projection gives rise to fantasized relations of love and hatred for “heroes” or “demons,” The favourite victims are tenors, artists, movie-stars, athletic champions, etc.” [2]

 References:

  1. Dosso Dossi: Court Painter in Renaissance Ferrara By Peter Humfrey, Dosso Dossi, Mauro Lucco, Andrea Bayer, J. Paul Getty Museum
  2. The Archetypes and The Collective Unconscious (Collected Works of C.G. Jung Vol.9 Part 1)  (para. 351)