Skip to main content
The Death of Eurydice
Niccolò dell'Abate
/

The story of Eurydice and Aristaeus is told by the Roman poet Virgil. In the far distance Orpheus, Eurydice’s husband, charms wild animals with his music. Three nymphs gather flowers, unaware that the shepherd Aristaeus is pursuing Eurydice. She is bitten by a snake as she runs away. Identifiable by her blue drapery, Eurydice appears again, lying dead on the ground. In the middle distance, Aristaeus consults his mother Cyrene concerning the death of his bees. The sea-god Proteus, lying with his overflowing urn on the ground, explained to Aristaeus that the disaster in the hives was a punishment for his pursuit of Eurydice.

This picture was probably painted in France where Niccolò dell'Abate worked from 1552 onwards. The landscape is truly spectacular – golden clouds filter sunlight and shadow across a multitude of fantastic classical buildings, spires and columns to magical effect. The landscape expresses the emotional content of the story in a way that was quite new in French art.

Key facts
Artist Niccolò dell'Abate
Artist dates about 1509/12 - 1571
Full title The Death of Eurydice
Date made about 1552-71
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 189.2 x 237.5 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by the Art Fund, 1941
Inventory number NG5283
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

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

Creative Commons Logo