Orpheus and the Animals, Paulus Potter, 1650

Orpheus and the Animals, Paulus Potter, 1650

oil on canvas, h 67cm × w 89cm. More details

The Classical poet Ovid described how Orpheus en-chanted nature with his wonderful lyre music. This theme was popular among 17th-century animal painters because it gave them a chance to depict many different sorts of animals. Here Potter demonstrates that his repertoire encompassed more than the usual farm animals. He painted dozens of native and exotic beasts. In the middle Orpheus is strumming his harp.

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