MICHELE ROCCA, called Parmigianino the Younger (1666 Parma -
The Birth of Adonis (Ovid, Metamorphosen X, 503 - 514)
Oil on canvas, relined, 647 x 497 mm
Provenance: private collection Berlin
In the tenth book of Ovid's Metamorphoses, it is reported
how Myrrah, who fell in love with her father, succeeded in
sleeping repeatedly with him. Later, when the father
realizes with whom he had been with, she has to flee.
After a nine-month journey, she gives birth to Adonis in the
land of Saba.
At her own request, she is turned into a tree by the gods.
The subject of the picture is the transformation of Myrrah
into a tree. Beautiful and highlighted by her fair
complexion against the dark tree, she is surrounded by a
tree in the center of the picture. Adonis, who can be seen
on the lower left, is already in the care of caring nymphs.
A previous version shows the scene in a landscape format. (Fondazione
Zeri, University of Bologna, inventory number 61397).