The Origin of the Milky Way Artist: Tintoretto Created: 1575 Media: Oil paint, Canvas

The Origin of the Milky Way 

Artist: Tintoretto

Created: 1575

Media: Oil paint, Canvas

Periods: Italian Renaissance, Renaissance, Venetian school, Mannerism

Support: Canvas

Location National Gallery, London 

The Origin of the Milky Way is a painting by the Italian late Renaissance master Jacopo Tintoretto, in the National Gallery, London, formerly in the Orleans Collection. It is an oil painting on canvas, and dates from ca.1575–1580. According to myth, the infant Heracles was brought to Hera by his half-sister Athena, who later played an important role as a goddess of protection. Hera nursed Heracles out of pity, but he suckled so strongly that he caused Hera pain, and she pushed him away. Her milk sprayed across the heavens and there formed the Milky Way. With divine milk, Heracles acquired supernatural powers.

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