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Landscape with the Death of Procris
Studio of Claude
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Taken from an episode in Ovid’s Metamorphosis, this painting shows the moment when Cephalus is horrified to find his wife Procris impaled and slumped against a tree, after he has accidentally killed her with his spear. He thought she was a wild animal – the deer fleeing over the horizon was his intended prey.

Earlier in the story, Procris suspects Cephalus of infidelity and follows him to a forest and hides when she hears him approach. She had previously given him the spear and a magic dog that were a gift to her from Diana, goddess of the hunt. The withered tree covered in ivy – an emblem of love and fidelity – and shadowy landscape add to the sombre tone.

The paint surface is very discoloured with extensive repainted areas, particularly in the figures. This composition is probably a copy of an original work by Claude painted around 1646.

Key facts
Artist Studio of Claude
Artist dates 1604/5? - 1682
Full title Landscape with the Death of Procris
Date made about 1647
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 38 x 48.6 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir George Beaumont, 1826
Inventory number NG55
Location in Gallery Not on display
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