Peinture de René-Antoine HOUASSE, “Minerve and Tiresias”, qui se trouve au Grand Trianon au Château de Versailles
Minerve at first ground makes Tiresias in the center becoming blind

At the Grand Trianon, in the Salon des Seigneurs, is a painting painted by René-Antoine HOUASSE, « Minerva and Tiresias ».
Minerva at first ground makes Tiresias in the center becoming blind, as Ovid tells in Book III of the Metamorphosis.
Here's the text.


316 While these events according to the laws
of destiny occurred, and while the child,
the twice-born Bacchus, in his cradle lay,
'Tis told that Jupiter, a careless hour,
indulged too freely in the nectar cup;
and having laid aside all weighty cares,
jested with Juno as she idled by.

320 Freely the god began; “Who doubts the truth?
The female's pleasure is a great delight,
much greater than the pleasure of a male.”
Juno denied it; wherefore 'twas agreed
to ask Tiresias to declare the truth,
than whom none knew both male and female joys:
for wandering in a green wood he had seen
two serpents coupling; and he took his staff
and sharply struck them, till they broke and fled.
'Tis marvelous, that instant he became
a woman from a man, and so remained
while seven autumns passed. When eight were told,
again he saw them in their former plight,
and thus he spoke; “Since such a power was wrought,
by one stroke of a staff my sex was changed—
again I strike!” And even as he struck
the same two snakes, his former sex returned;
his manhood was restored.—
as both agreed
to choose him umpire of the sportive strife,
he gave decision in support of Jove;
from this the disappointment Juno felt
surpassed all reason, and enraged, decreed
eternal night should seal Tiresias' eyes.—

337 immortal Deities may never turn
decrees and deeds of other Gods to naught,
but Jove, to recompense his loss of sight,
endowed him with the gift of prophecy.

Ovid, “The Metamorphosis”, Book III

You can help improve the content of this article by proposing your modification of the text from the following link. modify this page