Pan and Syrinx

Jean François de Troy (French, 1679-1752)1720

The Cleveland Museum of Art

The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, United States

Subjects drawn from classical mythology posed a challenge for painters: they demanded skill in depicting the human body in complex poses, as well as knowledge of ancient texts and an ability to interpret them imaginatively. Jean François de Troy’s rich colors and voluptuous figure types were ideal for depicting the sorts of mythological subjects favored by his elite patrons, which generally focused on themes of love. In a myth recounted in the Roman poet Ovid’s <em>Metamorphoses</em>, the nymph Syrinx fled from the lecherous advances of the god Pan. Trapped at the edge of a river, she begged for a way to escape, and the gods transformed her into reeds. Pan later gathered these reeds to form the pan pipes, the musical instrument forever associated with him.

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  • Title: Pan and Syrinx
  • Creator: Jean François de Troy (French, 1679-1752)
  • Date Created: 1720
  • Physical Dimensions: Framed: 123.5 x 159.5 x 12 cm (48 5/8 x 62 13/16 x 4 3/4 in.); Unframed: 106 x 139 cm (41 3/4 x 54 3/4 in.)
  • Provenance: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio, (Herner Wengraf/Old Masters Galleries, London, sold to the Cleveland Museum of Art), (Christie’s, London, sale, June 29, 1973, no. 93, sold to Herner Wengraf), George Ortiz [1927-2013], Geneva, consigned to Christie’s, Graziella Patiño de Ortiz-Linares [b. c. 1908-1980], to her son, George Ortiz, Page?1, (Galerie Charpentier, Paris, Chaix d’Est-Ange sale, Dec. 11, 1934, lot 46, sold to “Page”), Family of Gustave Chaix d’Est-Ange III, consigned to Galerie Charpentier, Gustave Chaix d’Est-Ange III [1863-1923], by descent to his family, Jeanne Sipière Chaix d’Est-Ange [1843-1917], to her son, Gustave Chaix d’Est-Ange III
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: CC0
  • External Link: https://clevelandart.org/art/1973.212
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Inscriptions: Signed lower center: "De Troy 1720"
  • Department: European Painting and Sculpture
  • Culture: France, 18th century
  • Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
  • Collection: P - French 18th Century
  • Accession Number: 1973.212

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