A Portrait as a Goddess
Look closely at the woman in this image. Did you notice that she is wearing a leopard skin and holding a bow and arrow? Do you think she normally dressed this way?
This woman lived about 250 years ago and she chose to have her portrait painted with these objects because she wanted to look like the Roman goddess Diana.
Imagine you saw someone dressed in a blue outfit with a big letter "S" on his chest and a red cape. You would probably know that the person wanted to look like Superman because those features are symbols for the superhero.
In a similar way, holding a bow and wearing an animal skin tells people that this woman is dressed like Diana, because these objects were her symbols, or attributes.
Diana was the goddess of the moon, the forest, and hunters. And like all goddesses, she was incredibly powerful and immortal (meaning she would never die). The woman in the painting hoped that people seeing her portrait would think she had the strength and courage of the goddess.
The artist, Jean-Marc Nattier, was famous for portraying people as different characters. In France in the 1700s it was popular for wealthy people to have him paint their portraits. What type of costume would you wear if you were having your portrait painted by Nattier?