Pegasus and the Muses

The painting shows the mythological winged horse Pegasus striking the ground with his hoof and thus causing the fountain of Hippocrene to flow. The story comes from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses' (V, 312: 36, 374: 430).

Surrounding Pegasus are the Muses, singing and making music, while the daughters of Pierus, who sang in contest with them, stand in the background.

The painting was probably intended to be part of a piece of furniture, perhaps the lid of a musical instrument.

Key facts

Artist dates
about 1484 - about 1560
Full title
Pegasus and the Muses
Date made
about 1540
Medium and support
Oil on wood
38 x 115.4 cm
Acquisition credit
Layard Bequest, 1916
Inventory number
Location in Gallery