While many of the sculptures from Greco-Roman mythology that overlook the Gran Vía date back to the post-war period, this rendition of Diana the Huntress is a much more modern addition. Natividad Sánchez, the first woman architect and sculptor to leave her mark on Madrid’s iconic boulevard, was commissioned to retell the myth of Diana and Endymion.
In 2017, a new sculptural ensembled was unveiled on the rooftop of 32 Gran Vía, the former Madrid-Paris building that now houses a hotel. Viewers might initially spy a pair of arrows embedded into the sidewalk, then lift their gaze upward to see the goddess, her bow drawn and five hounds at her side. In her sights is Endymion, represented here by a statue of a young man with a phoenix on the rooftop of Gran Vía 32, a 1920s Art Deco gem.
Curiously, the young man depicted by the other sculpture was originally meant to represent Ganymede, Zeus’s lover, rather than Endymion. Sánchez, however, chose to put her own twist on mythology to make the statues work in tandem. In the original story, Zeus condemns Diana’s mortal love to eternal sleep. In this rendition, Diana, the mythological divine protector of women, is seen fighting for the one she loves, thereby rewriting her own ending.
Know Before You Go
Metro stops Gran Vía and Callao are the closest to the statues.