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Orpheus and Eurydice

Peter Paul Rubens

Reading Public Museum

Reading Public Museum

In this studio version of an original at the Prado in Spain that was once part of the royal collection, Orpheus descends into the Underworld to recover his wife, Eurydice, who died after being bitten by a serpent. Pluto and Proserpina, the god and goddess of the Underworld, are so moved by the music of his lyre that they grant his request. The only condition they impose is that he contains his desire and not look at his beloved until they have both fully departed the Underworld. The textual source is Ovid's Metamorphosis (Book X, 1-59).

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  • Title: Orpheus and Eurydice
  • Creator: Studio of Peter Paul Rubens
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on panel
  • Culture: Flemish
  • Credit Line: Museum Purchase
  • Creator Death Date: 1640
  • Creator Birth Date: 1577


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