Go to content Go to navigation Go to search Change language

Home>Collection & Louvre Palace>Curatorial Departments>Artemis with a Doe

Work Artemis with a Doe

Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: Classical Greek Art (5th-4th centuries BC)

Artemis, goddess of the hunt, known as the ‘Diana of Versailles’

© 2011 Musée du Louvre / Thierry Ollivier

Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities
Classical Greek Art (5th-4th centuries BC)

Martinez Jean-Luc

This work was a gift from Pope Paul IV to the French king Henri II, and one of the first ancient statues to arrive in France. The goddess - Diana to the Romans, Artemis to the Greeks -was Apollo's twin sister. The goddess of chastity, and a tireless hunter whose arrows could punish the misdeeds of men, she is depicted here accompanied by a deer. The statue is based on a fourth-century BC Greek bronze attributed to Leochares.

The modern history of the work

A gift from Pope Paul IV to Henri II (1556), this celebrated statue adorned a number of French royal residences. In the sixteenth century, it featured in the Jardin de la Reine at the palace of Fontainebleau. In 1602, Henri IV moved it to the Louvre, where it was displayed in the Hall of Antiquities (now the Salle des Caryatides). Under the reign of Louis XIV, it was sent to the palace of Versailles, where it was shown in the Grande Galerie. In 1798, the statue returned to the Louvre, by order of the Convention. It has been copied, cast and imitated many times in modern Europe, in engravings, ceramics and small bronzes.

A Classical work from the fourth century BC

Artemis, the Greek goddess of hunting and twin sister to Apollo, is shown here in action, with her tunic (the chiton) tucked up to her knees to make it easier to pursue her quarry. A cape (the himation) passing over her left shoulder, clings closely to her form. The rhythmic, Classical yet naturalistic draperies, and the goddess's rather aloof majesty, allow us to date the original statue - now lost - to the second Classical period of the fourth century BC.

A copy of an original statue by Leochares

It is tempting to date the Greek model for the statue more precisely, by attributing it to the great fourth-century BC master Leochares, a celebrated Athenian sculptor, whose work is known to us only through ancient literary and epigraphic sources. This hypothesis is based on the striking similarities between the Diana of Versailles and the famous Apollo Belvedere in the Vatican.


Favier (S.), " A propos de la restauration par Barthélémy Prieur de la "Diane à la biche" ", in La Revue du Louvre et des musées de France, 1970, n 2, p. 71-77
Pfrommer (M.), Leochares ? Die hellenistischen schuhe der Artemis Versailles, Isteinbuler Mitteilungen, 34, 1984, p. 171-182, pl. 29-30

Technical description

  • Artemis, goddess of the hunt, known as the ‘Diana of Versailles’

  • Marble

    H. 2 m

  • Inventaire MR 152 (n° usuel Ma 589)

  • Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities

    Sully wing
    Ground floor
    Salle des Caryatides
    Room 348

Practical information

In line with the measures taken by the government to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Musée du Louvre and Musée National Eugène Delacroix are closed until further notice.
All those who have purchased a ticket for this period will automatically receive a refund—no action is required.
Thank you for your understanding.

The Tuileries and Carrousel gardens remain open.