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Attributed to manner of Albani, Francesco (Italian painter, 1578-1660) , Daphnis and Chloe

Core Record

Title Daphnis and Chloe
Collection Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth
Artist Attributed to manner of Albani, Francesco (Italian painter, 1578-1660)
Date Earliest possibly 1750
Date Latest possibly 1850

This scene represents the romance of Daphnis and Chloe, which after their adventures, concludes with the happy reunion and marriage of the protagonists. The story is based on the description of the Greek writer Longus (3rd or 4th century A.D.). This textual source is clearly identifiable in the painting as both protagonists are represented as shepherds, according to the textual tradition: Daphnis has a shepherd's crook and a dog by his side, and Chloe a flock of sheep behind her. The presence of a cupid between the two seated protagonists in an Arcadian landscape alludes to the older traditions of Daphnis' myth: the cupid holds a blindfold and while this represents the blind love necessary for marriage, it also recalls Diodorus Siculus' myth of Daphnis, who he records was blinded as a punishment for betraying the love of a nymph.

Daphnis who in this scene plays the pipes, an accepted erotic signifier, was the son of Hermes by a Naiad. He was taught to play the pipes by Pan, and is recognised as the inventor of bucolic poetry.

Previously attributed to Francesco Albani this painting appears to be an eighteenth or rococo-style nineteenth-century copy executed in a technique of limited merit. The original source for this work remains unidentified.

Current Accession Number BORGM:2007.94.301
Subject mythology (Daphnis and Chloe); literature (Longus)
Measurements 150 x 100 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Given by Joseph Lucas.
Rights Owner Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth
Author Francesco Nevola



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