Juno Was Adamant, Raku

JUNO WAS ADAMANT / Dear Lee Bontecou

Roman mythology associates Lilies with Juno, the queen of the gods and the goddess of marriage. According to the myth, Jupiter had a habit of seducing mortals in a variety of clever disguises (in the form of a bull and a shower of golden rain he frequently figures in paintings). Hercules' birth was the result of Jupiter's appearing to the lady in question disguised as her own husband. Wishing to make the boy immortal, Jupiter carried Hercules to where Juno lay asleep and put him to her breast so that he might drink the food of the gods. The sucking of the infant, later to be renowned for his strength, awoke Juno with a start. As she drew away from the child, a shower of milk shot upwards to the sky to form the constellation of stars known as the Milky Way and part of it fell to earth, creating the lilies. 

This sculpture is loosely based on Tintoretto's painting "The Origin of the Milky Way" and a detailed description of discoveries made during the cleaning and restoration of the painting in The National Gallery Technical Bulletin Volume 3, 1979 by Joyce Plesters.