CARRACCI, Annibale
(b. 1560, Bologna, d. 1609, Roma)

Polyphemus and Galatea

Palazzo Farnese, Rome

The law of symmetry primarily determines the arrangement of the scenes. This is most clearly observed in the two Polyphemus scenes, which tell the story of the hulking, one-eyed Cyclops who falls in love with the Nereid Galatea and who, filled with jealous rage, finally crushes Galatea's lover, Acis, with a boulder.

The images found above the Polyphemus scenes - The Abduction of Ganymede over one and Apollo any Hyacinth over the other - allude to the fact that the loves of the gods also extended to their own gender.

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