Pan and Syrinx


Artist
Jean Le Pautre (French, 1618 – 1682)
Date
circa 1670
Medium
Etching
Dimensions
- : 8.9 x 12 9/16 in. (22.7 x 31.91 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
Object Number
2016.48.1

Label
Jean Le Pautre was a 17th-century French furniture, textile and print designer. This print belongs to a series of 22 designs Le Pautre created to illustrate stories from classical Greek and Roman mythology. As told in Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Pan was a satyr, a kind of half-man, half-goat creature who lived a life of unrestrained indulgence in the wilderness. One day he 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 a set of pipes from reeds of different lengths that he played to remind himself of his unattainable love.

Object Type
Print
Academic Themes
Greek and Roman Myths