Actaeon, a young prince, stumbled upon Diana and her companions while bathing in a pool in the forest. As punishment, Diana turned him into a stag whereupon he was attacked and devoured by his own hounds.
The present composition, one of the rarer models attributed to Fanelli, bears all the hallmarks of his style, particularly in the waxy treatment of the modelling. Another example is in the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. A.119-1910).