16 October 2010

The Lynx and the Magpies

The next story in the Metamorphoses is that of Lyncus’s treacherous attempt to murder his guest, Triptolemus, for which he was turned into a lynx. Jacques Dumont Le Romain painted a picture of this incident in 1732 which is now in the Louvre, but not on their website.

Book V now comes to a close. The daughters of Pierus, who had challenged the Muses to a singing contest but refused to accept the judges’ verdict against them, are changed into magpies. A painting from the 1520s by Rosso Fiorentino, which is now in the Louvre, shows the contest. This painting was probably the source for the design of a maiolica plate made 20 years later and now in Cambridge’s Fitzwilliam Museum. (Images of lynx (by ChickenFalls) and magpie (by Lamiot) are taken from wikicommons and used under a creative commons licence.)

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