Skip to main content

Eugène Delacroix, Ovid among the Scythians

Key facts
Full title Ovid among the Scythians
Artist Eugène Delacroix
Artist dates 1798 - 1863
Date made 1859
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 87.6 × 130.2 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1956
Inventory number NG6262
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Ovid among the Scythians
Eugène Delacroix

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).

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo