Pan chased the nymph Syrinx through Arcadia. When she came to the river Ladon she could flee no further; her prayer for escape was answered as she was transformed into reeds, from which Pan subsequently made his pan pipes. Ovid, 'Metamorphoses' (I, 689-713).

This is thought to be a work in which Hendrick van Balen the Elder painted the figures, and the landscape was executed by a follower of Jan Brueghel the Elder. The composition was probably inspired by a print of 'Pan and Syrinx' by Hendrick Goltzius.

Key facts

Artist
Artist dates
1575? - 1632; 1568 - 1625
Full title
Pan pursuing Syrinx
Date made
possibly after 1615
Medium and support
Oil on copper
Dimensions
25 x 19.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1860
Inventory number
NG659
Location in Gallery