Meleager killing the boar of Calydon
Oeneus, king of Calydon, omits to offer a sacrifice to Artemis, goddess of hunting. Irritated, the deity takes revenge by sending a monstrous boar to devastate the kingdom of the negligent sovereign. In order to fight against the animal, Meleager, son of the king, organizes a great hunt. The painter Boeyermans chooses to depict the hero preparing to "serve" the boar with a blow of the sword under the gaze of the other hunters, represented in the background. Among them, Atalanta, the young woman he is in love with, is represented with her bow. In Ovid's Metamorphoses, the heroine, portrayed as the bearer of the first blow to the boar, is honored and offered the animal's head.
A pupil of Antoine Van Dyck, Boeyermans skilfully takes up the subject of the hunt for Meleager, a popular theme in the 17th century. The monumental format, the refined colors, the intensity of the action and the dramatic character of the scene are also characteristic of the Baroque school. In this painting, done at the end of his life, Boeyermans pays homage to Peter-Paul Rubens.