Music Lesson

Johann Carl Loth (circle of)2nd half of 17th c.

The Wilanów Palace Museum

The Wilanów Palace Museum
Warsaw, Poland

The oval middle part with three mythological figures was cut out, and later four corners were added to obtain a rectangular shape. However, we cannot say with certainity, what the original composition looked like. This intriguing mythological scene, bringing to mind a music lesson, was probably shown on the background of a landscape. Three gods of various age dominate over the whole composition. In the foreground Pan plays the syrinx. Above Marsyas looks out, holding his attribute - aulos. The right part of the painting is occupied by a graceful, ephebe-like youth with long blonde hair. Covered in a blue mantle, which he gathers with his left hand in a refined manner on his breast, while his right one he holds what is probably a lyre.It could be Daphnis, son of Hermes, who was taught music by Pan. It may be Apollo himself.


  • Title: Music Lesson
  • Date Created: 2nd half of 17th c.
  • Technique: oil on canvas
  • Subject: Two depictions of the 'music lesson' from the antiquity became famous: hellenistic sculptures ascribed to Heliodoros of Rhodes, showing Centaur Chiron teaching Achilles to play the lyre and Pan teaching Apollo to play the syrinx. The second one could have inspired the author of this picture.
  • Provenance: The painting bought by the Wilanów Palace Museum in 2001.
  • Physical Dimensions: w940 x h1310 mm
  • Painter: Johann Carl Loth (circle of)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Wilanów Palace Museum, Photo: W. Holnicki

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