Pan and Syrinx
Jean Le Pautre (French, 1618 – 1682)
Dimensions- : 8.9 x 12 9/16 in. (22.7 x 31.91 cm)
Credit LineHope College Collection
LabelAccording to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pan was a satyr, a kind of half-man, half-goat creature who lived in the forest enjoying a life of unrestrained sensual indulgence. One day Pan encountered a wood nymph named Syrinx and was smitten by her beauty. Syrinx, however, had taken a vow of chastity and sought to evade Pan’s advances. Pan pursued Syrinx through the forest until they reached a stream, where Syrinx was transformed by a sympathetic river sprite into a clump of cattail reeds. When Pan heard the sound of the wind blowing through the reeds, he was inspired to make himself a set of pipes from reeds of different lengths that he played to remind himself of his unattainable love.