This painting's content is based on one of the stories from the Metamorphoses by the classical poet Ovid. Pan, the goat-legged shepherd god, desires Syrinx and pursues her. The beautiful nymph could not return this love, fled to her father, the river god Ladon, and exactly at the moment that Pan reached her, asked her sisters, of whom one is represented at the edge of the image, to transform her into a reed. From this reed, Pan, full of resignation, made a flute with various long pipes, which called either a panpipe after him or a Syrinx after her. Poussin shows the moment in which Pan appears to reach the feeling nymph.

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