Vertumnus and Pomona

Object Details


Vertumnus and Pomona


Attributed to Cesar van Everdingen (Dutch, about 1617 - 1678)




about 1650


Oil on canvas


104.1 × 140 cm (41 × 55 1/8 in.)

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Kneeling, a young woman turns away from the viewer to listen to an old woman whose open mouth and gesticulating hand indicate that she is in the midst of speech. The young woman wears a skirt and a sheer piece of cloth across her chest. With her face lost in profile, her naked neck, arms, and voluptuous breasts are displayed for the delectation of the male spectator. She holds a cluster of fruit in her right hand and a pruning knife in the other.

The subject of this painting comes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The Roman God Vertumnus, disguised as the talkative old woman, attempts to seduce the reclusive woodland nymph Pomona. Netherlandish painters favored this classical story in the 1600s because of its moralizing lessons on the dangers of gullibility.

by 1904 - 1926

William Allan Coats, 1853 - 1926 (Skelmorlie Castle, Dalskairth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland), upon his death probably held in trust by the estate, 1926.

1926 - 1927

Estate of William Allan Coats, 1853 - 1926 [sold, Christie's, London, June 10, 1927, lot 103, to Duits for 105gns.]
Source: annotated auction catalogue (GRI).

1927 -

W.E. Duits, Ltd. (London, England)

- 1935

Private Collection [sold, Mak van Waay, Amsterdam, December 16, 1935, lot 20.]

- 1960

Private Collection [sold, Sotheby's, London, November 16, 1960, lot 34, to Teltscher.]

1960 -

Teltscher (London, England)
Source: annotated auction catalogue (GRI).

- 1964

Private Collection [sold, Dorotheum, Vienna, December 1, 1964, lot 34, to the Museo de Arte de Ponce.]

1964 -

Museo de Arte de Ponce (Ponce, Puerto Rico), sold to Central Picture Galleries.

- 1975

Central Picture Galleries (New York, New York), sold to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975.