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MICHELE ROCCA, called Parmigianino the Younger (1666 Parma - 1752 Venice)

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).

Reproductions and descriptions are copyright protected and may not be used without permission.  © Ralph Rüdiger Haugwitz 2018