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The National Gallery has endeavoured to make as many images of the collection as possible available for non-commercial use. However, an image of this painting is not available to download. This may be due to third party copyright restrictions.

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Two Scenes from the Argonautica


These two very large canvases may once have been part of a series of perhaps six or more paintings which would have decorated the walls of a whole room in a Venetian palace, like wallpaper today. They were painted hastily using only a limited range of colours, which may be because they were intended as interior decoration rather than as gallery pictures.

Landscape with the Expulsion of the Harpies illustrates a scene from the Argonautica, an epic romance written by Apollonius Rhodius in the third century BC. The hybrid women in Landscape with a Scene of Enchantment could be beastly followers of Circe also described in the Argonautica (Book IV) and the sleeping man may be Odysseus. The very specific elements in this scene suggest that it illustrates a particular story, although we do not know which one.