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River Landscape with Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl
  • Salvator Rosa (1615 - 1673)
  • River Landscape with Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl
  • Italy
  • Date: c.1657-58
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 173.7 x 259.5 cm
  • Object size: 213.5 x 297 x 13.5 cm
  • Inv: P116
  • Location: Great Gallery
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Further Reading
  • Ovid’s Metamorphoses (XIV, 129-53) tells of how the amorous Apollo offered the Cumaean Sibyl anything she desired. She is represented asking for as many years of life as there are grains of dust in her hands. Although Apollo granted her wish, she still refused him any favours. In retribution, he denied her perpetual youth and she lived for over seven hundred years in increasing misery. Rosa’s expressive brushwork, dark tones and dramatic chiaroscuro (contrast between light and dark), together with his characterisation of the wild rocky landscape with splintered trees, create a sense of foreboding and mystery in keeping with the melancholic story.