CERRINI, Giovanni Domenico
(b. 1609, Perugia, d. 1681, Roma)

Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl

Oil on canvas, 102 x 135 cm
Private collection

Ovid (Metamorphoses 14:130-153) tells how the Sibyl of Cumae, in southern Italy, was loved by Apollo.He bribed her by offering to prolong her life for as many years as there were grains in a heap of dust, in return for her embraces. She refused him and although he kept his word, he denied her perpetual youth, so she was commanded to centuries as a wizened crone.

In the painting the Sibyl, a young woman is shown standing before the sitting Apollo holding out her cupped hand which contains the heap of dust.

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