Pseudo Salini, Mercury and Argos, oil in canvas, 110x146 cm #lamprontigallery #privatecollection #oldmasters #oilpainting #londongallery #painting #artcollector Ovid recounts the story of mercury and argos in his Metamorphoses (I:668- 708). The poet tells how Jupiter, in an effort to hide his infidelity from Juno, turns Io, the object of his lust, into a white heifer. But, so as not to be deceived, Juno requests the heifer as a gift from her husband and charges Argos, the ‘all-seeing’ watchman, with the animal’s care. Jupiter, however, engages Mercury to free Io, which he achieves by lulling Argos to sleep with soothing music, before killing him. The composition here captures the moment when the watchman falls asleep, with Mercury reaching into the shadows with his right hand for the weapon that he will use to kill the sleeping Argos.