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.

Date:

n.d.

Artist:

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.’”

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Georg Wechter

Title

Pan and Syrinx

Origin

Germany

Date

1550–1599

Medium

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

Dimensions

115 × 94 mm

Credit Line

The Leonora Hall Gurley Memorial Collection

Reference Number

1922.3508

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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