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The Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery, University of Glasgow 2018
"The Tomb of Phaethon"
CRE MILLET, Francisque II; (French;1666-1723) ATTR MILLET, Francisque I; (French; 1642-1679)
oil on canvas
37.0 x 45.7
57.5 x 68.0
From the founder, William Hunter's collection. This small work reflects Hunter's liking for Poussin, and for works in his style. Millet was born in Antwerp but settled in Paris in 1659, and painted in the French Italianate tradition without ever travelling to Italy. The beautiful mountain and river scenery illustrates a mythological tale. The landscape's most important feature is the tomb of Phaethon, a Greek youth whose pride led him to ignore advice and drive the chariot of his father Phoebus, the Sun God (Ovid, Metamorphoses, II). When he lost control, the blazing chariot burned a swathe across the world. He was killed by a thunderbolt sent by Jupiter to protect the world from destruction, and crashed into the River Po in northern Italy, where the Naiads buried him. Later, his distraught mother, Clymene, found the tomb and mourned him there. The tomb is represented topped with the figure of a river-god, presumably the River Po, in whose waters his burnt body came to rest.
Bequeathed by Dr William Hunter 1783
LANDSCAPE : IDEAL LANDSCAPE : CLASSICAL : MYTHOLOGY : FIGURE : RIVER PO : STRANGE : HUNTER 2007 : ON DISPLAY :