Lakeview Museum
Burghley House Virtual Gallery
BENEDETTO GENNARI
1570-1610

Orpheus Playing His Lyre
Oil on canvas, BH #219
48.5 x 55.25 inches

The story of Orpheus and his love for Eurydice is recorded in Book X of the Metamorphoses by Ovid. Gennari retells the story in three moving paintings. The first of the three paintings depicts Orpheus pleading with Pluto, god of the underworld, to allow him to descend into the Inferno to rescue Eurydice. The second painting captures the tragic fate of Eurydice trapped in flames after Orpheus breaks his oath to Pluto and looks back on Eurydice before they are safely out of the Inferno. The last painting gives us the lonely, love struck Orpheus playing his lyre for the lost Eurydice.


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