Orpheus, Eurydice and Aristaeus

Orpheus, Eurydice and Aristaeus 1475 - 1480

Jacopo del Sellaio

Room 34

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About this artwork

On the left of Sellaio's painting, we see how Orpheus receives the news of Eurydice's death. Centrally in the foreground, Eurydice, who is fleeing from Aristaios, is being bitten by the snake. At the far right of the painting, she is taken off to the underworld by two demons. These are depicted as figures with the legs of birds and horns on their heads.

About the creator

Jacopo del Sellaio

Florence 1441/1442 - Florence 1493

Little is known about the life of Jacopo del Sellaio, son of a saddle maker (sellaio), but from Giorgio Vasari's 'Lives' (1550) we know that he was a pupil of Fra Filippo Lippi (c. 1406-1469). A contemporary and fellow pupil was Sandro Botticelli (1444/45-1510). His name is mentioned for the first time in 1472 as master of the St Luke Guild (Compagnia di San Luca). In 1480, he owned, together with the painter Filippo di Giuliano, a studio, 'Bottega', on the Piazza San Miniato Fra le Torri. It has recently been discovered that he entered into an agreement with the woodworker Zanobi di Mecheruccio for the provision of wooden panels intended for wedding boxes, 'cassone'. Towards the end of his life, Sellaio concentrated mainly on painting such panels.

Object details

material and technique: oil on panel
kind of object: cassone painting
creditline: Verworven met de verzameling van / Acquired with the collection of: D.G. van Beuningen 1958
inventory number: 2563 (OK)