Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Nymph and Satyr by Jean-Honoré Fragonard

Time for another nymph and satyr picture and this sensuous one is by Fragonard (1732-1806).  Only a handful of Fragonard's work can be dated but this no doubt comes from the time when he was a favourite of the court of Louis XV.  

Given the pipes at the left, this could be the god Pan, who was much involved in pursuing nymphs.  He has the goat legs of a satyr but not the horns or long ears sometimes depicted. He is happily indulging in some cunnilingus on his nymph who is playing the double aulos pipe.  Fragonard probably imagined a sweet flute type instrument but more modern archaeology has shown that it made an aggressive wailing noise not unlike the chanter of bagpipes.  Indeed, the ancient Spartans used them to accompany their military manoeuvres. 

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