Object Image

Landscape with Polyphemus

Set into a Classical landscape are figures taken from Ovid's Metamorphoses (13: 750-897). The one-eyed Cyclope Polyphemus fell in love with the sea nymph Galatea, but she rejected him and Polyphemus withdrew to a high mountain to play out his sadness on his flute. Poussin presents love and music as the source of harmony in nature and human relations. Love has tamed the ferocious Cyclope, who has ceased to turn rocks to dust, to tear down trees and trample the corn, to sink ships. Charmed by Polyphemus's music, the nymphs who have come to collect water from a spring in their amphorae have stopped in their tracks; satyrs have emerged from their hiding places; a ploughman has stopped work to liste...

Oil on canvas
155.0 x 199.0cm
Image and text © The Hermitage Museum

Where you'll find this

The State Hermitage Museum
Permanent collection