The Music Contest between Apollo and Pan

Gerrit van Honthorst - studio

Gerrit van Honthorst - studio - The Music Contest between Apollo and Pan
In the 1620s, the city of Utrecht, known for its tradition of historical painting, became the centre of a specific painting school. The Utrecht Caravaggists, as the group came to be called later on, studied in Italy and deliberately adopted the dynamic style of Michelangelo Merisi, called Caravaggio. In Utrecht, they found many people interested in historical and religious themes, as a number of Catholics lived there. The representatives of Caravaggism included Gerrit van Honthorst, popular in his time particularly for his "night" scenes with artificial lighting. He worked for many monarchs in Europe: even the Bohemian queen Elizabeth and her daughters became his pupils during their stay in The Hague. The subject of the music competition between Apollo and Pan was taken over from Ovid´s Metamorphoses. Even if pan was a virtuoso player on the syrinx, he could never surpass the divine Apollo. That was the verdict of Tmolus, the god of the mountain. However, King Midas rejected the result of the contest, for which Apollo regaled him with ass´s ears.
measurements: height 136 cm
width 193 cm
material: canvas, lined
technique: oil
inventory number: O 5261
gallery collection: Collection of Old Masters