(b. 1604, Chamagne, d. 1682, Roma)
Landscape with Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl1645-49
Oil on canvas, 100 x 127 cm
The Hermitage, St. Petersburg
In Ovid's Metamorphoses the Cumaean sibyl recounts how Apollo, trying to gain her love, offered anything her heart desired. So, forgetting how quickly youth passes, she picked up a handful of sand and asked the god to give her as many days as there were grains of sand in her palm. Claude sets this melancholic subject among overgrown ancient ruins. Thus, after thoughts of the perishability of human beings and their creations, the viewer can find consolation in contemplating the happy eternity of nature.