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Piero di Cosimo: 'The Fight between the Lapiths and the Centaurs'

This painting was probably the backboard of a bench or chest in a Florentine palace. Furniture was often made to celebrate marriage; the subject would have been regarded as entertaining for such a purpose. It is from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (XII, 210ff.) and shows drunken centaurs disrupting the wedding feast of the king of the Lapiths, one of them seizing the bride by her hair (right foreground). Among many grotesque and lewd incidents is the lyrical episode of the centaur Hylonome kissing her lover Cyllarus as he dies from a javelin wound.


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