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Pan and Syrinx

A work made of pen and black ink on tan laid paper, tipped onto tinted laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of pen and black ink on tan laid paper, tipped onto tinted laid paper.




Unknown Artist
Southern German, late 16th century

About this artwork

Known for his lustful appetite, Pan preyed upon hapless nymphs. When Pan pursued her to a river’s edge, the skilled huntress Syrinx appealed to Artemis, goddess of chastity, who transformed her into the surrounding river reeds to save her. Pan’s frustrated sigh sounded across the hollow reeds, which he then fashioned into the set of pipes that became his attribute. This 16th-century German drawing references details from book one of Ovid’s Metamorphoses such as the quiver Syrinx grasps as she escapes: “When [Pan] thought he now had Syrinx, found that instead of the nymph’s body he only held reeds from the marsh; and, while he sighed there, the wind in the reeds, moving, gave out a clear, plaintive sound. Charmed by this new art and its sweet tones the god said ‘This way of communing with you is still left to me.’”


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Georg Wechter


Pan and Syrinx


Germany (Artist's nationality)


Artist's working dates 1550–1599


Pen and black ink on tan laid paper, tipped onto tinted laid paper


11.5 × 9.4 cm (4 9/16 × 3 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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