The ugly god Pan, who fell in love with beautiful Syrinx, is pursuing her. By a merciful spell, the vainly fleeing nymph is turned into reeds. Later on the smart god will manufacture a flute from the reeds in order to at least hear her voice. The figures of Pan and Syrinx are inventions by Rubens. They represent Rubens' mature style concentrated on emotion, which became the hallmark of Antwerp's golden age of painting.