Glaucus and Scylla

Object Details


Glaucus and Scylla


Laurent de La Hyre (French, 1606 - 1656)




about 1640 - 1644


Oil on canvas


146.1 x 118.1 cm (57 1/2 x 46 1/2 in.)

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The sea god Glaucus pulls aside his beard, revealing Cupid's arrow protruding from his chest. Looking up, he sees the maiden Scylla on a rocky cliff and pronounces his love for her.

Laurent de La Hyre represented a romantic scene from Ovid's Metamorphoses. Glaucus rises from the sea with an elegant, curling white beard, a muscular torso, and a scaly tail that unwinds among the reeds. Clad only in crumpled white and red drapery gathered around her waist, Scylla leans forward, gesturing with her hand. Behind her, Cupid looks ready to let loose another arrow. La Hyre used soft pinks in the sky and delicate hues of blue in the water, in contrast to the vivid green used for the reeds and foliage.

The painting was intended as a design for a tapestry series woven by the Gobelins factories and representing the loves of the gods.

- 1844

King Joseph Bonaparte of Spain, 1768 - 1844 (Paris, France; Naples, Italy; Madrid, Spain; Bordentown, New Jersey), by inheritance to his heirs, 1844.

1844 - 1845

Heirs of King Joseph Bonaparte of Spain, 1768 - 1844 [sold, Bonaparte sale, Birch, Bordentown, New Jersey, September 17, 1845, lot 126.]

by 1947 -

Goodyear's (Baltimore, Maryland)

Private Collection (Virginia)

- 1983

Didier Aaron, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to a private collector, 1983.

1983 - 1984

Private Collection (New York, New York), sold through Didier Aaron, Inc. (New York) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1984.