Europa carried to Crete by Taurus. A.M.2510.

WAG 7666


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Europa was the daughter of either Phoenix or Agenor, King of Phoenicia. Zeus was captivated by her beauty when he saw her picking flowers with her maidens, as pictured, and abducted her to Crete by disguising himself as a bull. Although Zeus is seen here in his anthropomorphic form, Burney depicts a bull carved into the prow of his ship. Once in Crete, Europa gave birth to three of Zeus' sons: Minos, ruler of Crete, Rhadamanthys, ruler of the Cyclades Islands and Sarpedon, ruler of Lycia.