Apollo Surrounded by the Nine Muses

Jacob de Wit1743


Den Haag, Netherlands

This ceiling painting comes from a house in Leiden (Rapenburg 48) and has been hanging here since 1912. Apollo, the classical god of the arts, is depicted on the oval centrepiece. He is surrounded by his nine muses, who stand for the various artistic disciplines. The four grisailles around the centrepiece represent the elegy, the comedy, the pastoral song and the epos.

In the eighteenth century, the Amsterdam artist Jacob de Wit was the leading expert in this type of illusionist tour de force.


  • Title: Apollo Surrounded by the Nine Muses
  • Creator: Wit, Jacob de
  • Date Created: 1743
  • Physical Dimensions: h395 cm x w636 cm
  • Provenance: Made (together with inv. nos. 732-735) for Rapenburg 48 in Leiden, the residence of Diederik van Leyden van Vlaardingen; purchased, 1910; installed in the ceiling of the Potter Room, 1912
  • Type: painting; oil
  • Medium: canvas

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