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Ovid among the Scythians
Eugène Delacroix
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In AD 8 the Roman poet Ovid, author of the poem Metamorphoses, was banished for life by the Emperor Augustus to the port of Tomis on the coast of the Black Sea. At that time, this region was inhabited by the Scythians, nomadic warrior-tribes who originally came from the area now known as southern Siberia. Delacroix depicts the kindness shown to Ovid, wearing a blue toga, by a group of Scythians, who offer him food and milk, while others look on. In keeping with the classical subject, the balanced distribution of figures across the painting echoes the structure of a Roman frieze and also recalls the landscapes of seventeenth-century French artists such as Claude (1604/5–1682) and Nicolas Poussin (1594–1665).

Key facts
Artist Eugène Delacroix
Artist dates 1798 - 1863
Full title Ovid among the Scythians
Date made 1859
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 87.6 x 130.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1956
Inventory number NG6262
Location in Gallery Room 44
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