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17th Century European Art

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Vertumnus and Pomona

ca. 1640
38 1/4 x 45 1/4 in. (97.2 x 114.9 cm)

Govaert Flinck
Dutch (Cleve, Holland, 1615 - 1660, Amsterdam, Holland)

Object Type: Painting
Medium and Support: Oil on canvas
Credit Line: Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Frank W. Lovejoy, Jr.
Accession Number: 1983.10
Location: Currently on view
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This painting illustrates a myth from Ovid’s Metamorphosis. Pomona, a nymph who presided over gardens and fruit trees, had taken a vow of chastity and therefore rejected the advances of all suitors. Vertumnus, the Roman deity of orchards, persisted nonetheless. To gain her affections he disguised himself as a fisherman, a soldier, a peasant, and finally as an old woman.

Flinck was a student and follower of Rembrandt, so much so that the styles of the two artists were often confused. Flinck’s skill brought him enviable social and economic rewards and eventually he was honored with a commission to create twelve paintings for the civic hall of Amsterdam.

[Gallery label text, 2005]

Provenance
J. B. Le Brun, Paris (dealer); his sale, Le Brun, Paris, December 11-16, 1780, as lot 113, as by Ferdinand Bol (unsold or withdrawn); his sale, Le Brun, Paris, March 12, 1782, as lot 80, [as by Ferdinand Bol]; [per annotation, purchased at that sale by Le Brun; bought in?]; Charles-Alexandre de Calonne (1734-1802), Paris; his sale, Le Brun, Paris, April 21, 1788, as lot 111 [as by Ferdinand Bol], purchased at that sale by Fontaine; Count Potocki, Paris, probably until at least 1959; sale, Christie's, London, December 16, 1977, as lot 138 [as by Flinck], under "The Property of a Lady"; H. Shickman Gallery, New York; purchased by the Gallery with funds provided by Dr. and Mrs. Frank W. Lovejoy Jr. in 1983

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Vertumnus and Pomona Read the story of Vertumnus and Pomona from Bulfinch's Mythology.


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