TISCHBEIN, Johann Heinrich the Elder
(b. 1722, Haina, d. 1789, Kassel)

The Mocking of Anacreon

Oil on canvas, 165 x 113 cm
Staatliche Museen, Kassel

This painting and its pendant, Hercules and Omphale, represent an early commission carried out for the Landgrave Wilhelm VIII by Tischbein, one of the Landgrave's court painters. Both of these paintings depict antique couples, an old man with a younger woman. Anacreon, the grey-haired love-poet of the 6th century BC, is pestering a young, scantily-clad woman, who attempts to repel his approaches. Cupid, the god of love, hovering behind them, seems however to be encouraging the two of them to get together.