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Orpheus and Eurydice

Jean Raouxabout 1709

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In the center of the picture, Orpheus happily pulls along his wife Eurydice after having won her release from Hades by his enchanting violin playing. Pluto, ruler of Hades, and his wife Proserpine observe their departure from the upper left. The three Fates ominously spin the future at the left, foreshadowing Orpheus's eventual unhappiness. He broke the one condition that Proserpine had set for Eurydice's return to earth: he could not look at her until their arrival. On reaching earthly light, Orpheus could not resist a glimpse, so Eurydice vanished forever.

Jean Raoux painted the scene in a highly theatrical manner, spotlighting the figures and arranging them as if on a stage. The action seems especially compressed because the canvas was cut down on all sides early in the twentieth century.

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  • Title: Orpheus and Eurydice
  • Creator: Jean Raoux
  • Date: about 1709
  • Physical Dimensions: 205.7 x 203.2 cm (81 x 80 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, Gift of William P. Garred
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 73.PA.153
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Paintings
  • Culture: French
  • Credit Line: Gift of William P. Garred
  • Classification: Paintings


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