Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter (Zeus) and was the Roman goddess of wisdom. She is equated with Athene in Greek mythology. She is the patroness of institutions of learning, crafts and the arts. Above all, she became known as a goddess of wisdom. However, she was born fully armed, as we see her here, as a goddess of war, fighting for the defence of just causes.
Lucien Lévy-Dhurmer was one of the leading painters of the Symbolist ideal at the turn of the century together with Fernand Khnopff and Edmond Aman-Jean. He was awarded a distinction at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1896, and a bronze medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle in Paris. In 1902 he became a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur.