Olio su tela (50 x 100 cm)
Ovid, Metamorphoses book II.
 Now after Phaethon had suffered death for the vast ruin wrought by scorching flames, all the great walls of Heaven's circumference, unmeasured, views the Father of the Gods, with searching care, that none impaired by heat may fall in ruins. Well assured they stand in self-sustaining strength, his view, at last, on all the mundane works of man is turned;—his loving gaze long resting on his own Arcadia. And he starts the streams and springs that long have feared to flow; paints the wide earth with verdant fields; covers the trees with leaves, and clothes the injured forests in their green. While wandering in the world, he stopped amazed, when he beheld the lovely Nymph, Calisto, and fires of love were kindled in his breast. Calisto was not clothed in sumptuous robes, nor did she deck her hair in artful coils; but with a buckle she would gird her robe, and bind her long hair with a fillet white. She bore a slender javelin in her hand, or held the curving bow; and thus in arms as chaste Diana, none of Maenalus was loved by that fair goddess more than she. But everything must change.
 When bright the sun rolled down the sky, beyond his middle course, she pierced a secret thicket, known to her, and having slipped the quiver from her arm, she loosed the bended bow, and softly down upon the velvet turf reclining, pressed her white neck on the quiver while she slept. When Jupiter beheld her, negligent and beautiful, he argued thus, “How can my consort, Juno, learn of this? And yet, if chance should give her knowledge, what care I? Let gain offset the scolding of her tongue!” This said, the god transformed himself and took Diana's form—assumed Diana's dress and imitating her awoke the maid, and spoke in gentle tones, “What mountain slope, O virgin of my train, hath been thy chase?” Which, having heard, Calisto, rose and said, “Hail, goddess! greater than celestial Jove! I would declare it though he heard the words.” Jove heard and smiled, well pleased to be preferred above himself, and kissed her many times, and strained her in his arms, while she began to tell the varied fortunes of her hunt.—But when his ardent love was known to her, she struggled to escape from his embrace: ah, how could she, a tender maid, resist almighty Jove?—Be sure, Saturnia if thou hadst only witnessed her thy heart had shown more pity!—Jupiter on wings, transcendent, sought his glorious heights; but she, in haste departing from that grove, almost forgot her quiver and her bow.
 Behold, Diana, with her virgin train, when hunting on the slopes of Maenalus, amidst the pleasures of exciting sport, espied the Nymph and called her, who, afraid that Jove apparelled in disguise deceived, drew backward for a moment, till appeared to her the lovely Nymphs that followed: thus, assured deceit was none, she ventured near. Alas, how difficult to hide disgrace! She could not raise her vision from the ground, nor as the leader of the hunting Nymphs, as was her wont, walk by the goddess' side. Her silence and her blushes were the signs of injured honour. Ah Diana, thou, if thou wert not a virgin, wouldst perceive and pity her unfortunate distress. The Moon's bent horns were rising from their ninth sojourn, when, fainting from Apollo's flames, the goddess of the Chase observed a cool umbrageous grove, from which a murmuring stream ran babbling gently over golden sands. When she approved the spot, lightly she struck her foot against the ripples of the stream, and praising it began; “Far from the gaze of all the curious we may bathe our limbs, and sport in this clear water.” Quickly they undid their garments,—but Calisto hid behind the others, till they knew her state.—Diana in a rage exclaimed, “Away! Thou must not desecrate our sacred springs!” And she was driven thence.
 Ere this transpired, observed the consort of the Thunder-God her altered mien; but she for ripening time withheld severe resentment. Now delay was needless for distracted Juno heard Calisto of the god of Heaven had borne a boy called Arcas. Full of jealous rage, her eyes and thoughts enkindled as she cried; “And only this was wanting to complete your wickedness, that you should bear a son and flaunt abroad the infamy of Jove! Unpunished you shall not escape, for I will spoil the beauty that has made you proud and dazzled Jupiter with wanton art.” So saying, by her forehead's tresses seized the goddess on her rival; and she dragged her roughly to the ground. Pleading she raised her suppliant arms and begged for mercy.—While she pled, black hair spread over her white limbs; her hands were lengthened into feet, and claws long-curving tipped them; snarling jaws deformed the mouth that Jove had kissed. And lest her prayers and piteous words might move some listening God, and give remembrance, speech was so denied, that only from her throat came angry growls, now uttered hoarse and threatening. Still remains her understanding, though her body, thus transformed, makes her appear a savage bear.—her sorrows are expressed in many a groan, repeated as she lifts her hands—if we may call them so – repeated as she lifts them towards the stars and skies, ungrateful Jove regarding; but her voice accuses not. Afraid to rest in unfrequented woods, she wandered in the fields that once were hers, around her well-known dwelling. Over crags, in terror, she was driven by the cries of hounds; and many a time she fled in fear, a huntress from the hunters, or she hid from savage animals; forgetting her transformed condition. Changed into a bear, she fled affrighted from the bears that haunt the rugged mountains; and she feared and fled the wolves,—although her father was a wolf.
 When thrice five birthdays rounded out the youth of Arcas, offspring of Lycaon's child, he hunted in the forest of his choice; where, hanging with his platted nets the trees of Erymanthian forest, he espied his transformed mother,—but he knew her not; no one had told him of his parentage. Knowing her child, she stood with levelled gaze, amazed and mute as he began approach; but Arcas, frightened at the sight drew back to pierce his mother's breast with wounding spear.—but not permitting it the god of Heaven averted, and removed them from that crime. He, in a mighty wind—through vacant space, upbore them to the dome of starry heaven, and fixed them, Constellations, bright amid the starry host.
 Juno on high beheld Calisto crowned with glory—great with rage her bosom heaved. She flew across the sea, to hoary Tethys and to old Oceanus, whom all the Gods revere, and thus to them in answer to their words she made address; “And is it wondered that the Queen of Gods comes hither from ethereal abodes? My rival sits upon the Throne of Heaven: yea, when the wing of Night has darkened let my fair word be deemed of no repute, if you behold not in the height of Heaven those new made stars, now honoured to my shame, conspicuous; fixed in the highest dome of space that circles the utmost axis of the world. Who, then, should hesitate to put affront on Juno? matchless goddess! each offense redounds in benefit! Who dreads her rage? Oh boundless powers! Oh unimagined deeds! My enemy assumes a goddess' form when my decree deprives her human shape;—and thus the guilty rue their chastisement! Now let high Jove to human shape transform this hideous beast, as once before he changed his Io from a heifer.—Let him now divorce his Juno and consort with her, and lead Calisto to his couch, and take that wolf, Lycaon, for a father-in-law! Oh, if an injury to me, your child, may move your pity! drive the Seven Stars from waters crystalline and azure-tint, and your domain debar from those that shine in Heaven, rewarded for Jove's wickedness.—bathe not a concubine in waters pure.”—the Gods of Ocean granted her request.