Diana (mythology)

   Diana, in Roman mythology, the goddess of the moon, the woods, the hunt, and animals. She was also the protectress of women, who prayed to her for children and for aid in childbirth. Diana was identified by the Romans with Artemis, who was the Greek goddess of the chase and the moon and was the sister of Apollo. Diana's most celebrated shrine in Italy was on the shores of Lake Nemi. In Rome her principal temple was on the Aventine Hill. There she was invoked as the patroness of the lower classes and of slaves.
   Since Roman times, Di­ana has been a popular subject in art. Ancient sculptors generally represented her as a young and beautiful huntress carrying a bow and quiver of arrows. A famous example is the statue called Diana of Versailles (Louvre Museum, Paris). Other fine ancient statues of Diana are in the Vatican Museum in Rome. Diana was also portrayed in famous paintings by Titian and Boucher.