Apollo Skinning Mars

size(cm): 50x40
Sale price£140 GBP


The painting Apollo Flaying Marsyas by Dirck Van Baburen is a Dutch Baroque masterpiece featuring a dramatic and violent mythological scene. The work measures 192 x 160 cm and is in the National Museum of Art in Bucharest.

The composition of the painting is impressive, with a dramatic contrast between the muscular and naked figure of Marsyas, who is being skinned alive by the elegantly dressed god Apollo, who appears triumphantly dressed. The scene takes place in a rocky and dark landscape, which highlights the dramatic tension of the scene.

The use of color in the work is sober and realistic, with a limited palette of earthy and dark tones that accentuate the rawness of the scene. The use of light and shadow is also very effective, with the figure of Apollo illuminated by a celestial glow that contrasts with the darkness of the landscape.

The story behind the painting is interesting: Marsyas was a satyr who challenged Apollo to a musical competition and lost. As punishment, Apollo skinned him alive and left him hanging from a tree. The painting depicts the moment when Apollo begins to skin Marsyas.

A little known aspect of the painting is that Van Baburen was inspired by an earlier work by Caravaggio, which also depicted the same scene. However, Van Baburen put a personal spin on the work, adding his own style and artistic vision.

In short, Apollo Flaying Marsyas is a Dutch Baroque masterpiece that stands out for its dramatic composition, its effective use of color and light, and its realistic depiction of a violent mythological scene. It is a work that continues to captivate viewers to this day.

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