13 October 2010


The next story in Ovid’s Metamorphoses is that of Arethusa, a nymph who was turned into a spring by the goddess Diana to protect her from the river Alphaeus who was chasing her.(photo of Arethusa's spring in Syracuse copyright Giovanni Dall'Orto, used by permission)

The Philadelphia Museum of Art has an Italian plate dated to 1531 showing Arethusa fleeing from Alphaeus.

The above statue group of Arethusa and Alphaeus was created by Battista di Domenico Lorenzi in the early 1570s and is now in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art. (used by permission of the Metropolitan Museum of Art)

Pace Audrey Hepburn in the film Roman Holiday, the 1820 poem about Arethusa was by Shelley, not Keats.

Legras painted the above picture of Arethusa in 1874, and it is now in Cherbourg’s Musée Thomas-Henry, but does not appear to be on their website. (public domain image from wikicommons)

Arthur Bowen Davies’s 1901 painting of Arethusa is now in Youngstown’s Butler Institute of American Art.

Arethusa’s story was one of those chosen by Benjamin Britten for his Oboe “Six Metamorphoses After Ovid”, composed in 1951, and played here by Nicholas Daniel.


H Niyazi said...

Very interesting! I loved seeing all those threads come together in one post.

I am becoming increasingly aware of just how influential Ovid's Metamorphoses has been through the ages.

You may be interested in checking out this older podcast from BBCR4 on this topic

BBC Radio 4 - In Our Time - Ovid's Metamorphoses

Kind Regards
H Niyazi

RWMG said...

I'll have to listen to that one. Thanks for the heads up.