Narcissus at the Fountain, Altobello Meloni
Altobello Meloni
Narcissus at the Fountain
DE
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Altobello Meloni

Narcissus at the Fountain, ca. 1510 – 1511


Dimensions
39.7 x 35.3 x 2.0 cm
Physical Description
Poplar
Inventory Number
879
Acquisition
Acquired in 1840
Status
On display, 2nd upper level, Old Masters

Texts

About the Work

This panel – much reduced in size through trimming – shows the beautiful Narcissus leaning over the edge of a fountain to gaze at his reflection. As Ovid recounts in his ‘Metamorphoses’, the young man fell so deeply in love with his unattainable image that he died of grief. So much of the picture was cut away that the subject matter became unrecognisable, and in the nineteenth century the overpainting of a few areas turned the androgynous youth into St Catherine with her wheel. These additions, which distorted the picture’s meaning, were removed only a few years ago.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Narcissus at the Fountain
Painter
Period Produced
School
Object Type
Physical Description
Poplar
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Creditline
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
Picture Copyright
© Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Foto: U. Edelmann
Acquisition
Acquired in 1840

Work Content

Motifs and References

Genre
Main Motif
Persons Shown
Associated Persons and Institutions
Illustrated Passage
  • Ovid: Metamorphosen, 3. Buch, Narzissus und Echo, 339-510

Iconclass

Primary
  • 97B6 Narcissus changed into a narcissus: when Narcissus is pining away for the love of his image reflected from the water, he is changed into a narcissus (Ovid, Metamorphoses III 510)
Secondary

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Last update

14.10.2020