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Pausias and Glycera

Pausias and Glycera

Artist: Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577 - 1640)

Artist: flowers by Osias Beert (Flemish, c. 1580 - 1624)

Date: c. 1612-1615
Medium: Oil on canvas
Frame: 92 3/8 × 80 1/2 × 5 in. (234.6 × 204.5 × 12.7 cm)
Overall: 80 x 76 1/2 in. (203.2 x 194.3 cm)
Credit Line: Bequest of John Ringling, 1936
Object number: SN219
On View: Art Museum Gallery 11
About this ObjectGlycera was an ancient Greek woman known for her skill at making floral wreaths of which her lover, Pausias, made exceptionally realistic paintings. Their relationship has come to represent the rivalry between nature and art. Which is more beautiful: Glycera's flowers or Pausias's paintings of them? The friendly competition between the ancient artisans is repeated in this work, in which the viewer is asked to compare the skills of Rubens, who painted the figures, with those of Beert, who painted the floral still lifes.
Sir Gregory Page, Wricklemarsh, Blackheath, Kent, died 1775; Sir Gregory Page Turner; Mr. Van Heythusen; Welbore Ellis Agar, Esq., sale, Christie's, May 2, 1806 (for 1,000 guineas); Second Earl of Grosvenor, later First Marquess of Westminster; Duke of Westminster; Westminster sale, Christie's, July 4, 1924 (no. 41); with Arthur U. Newton, New York; purchased by John Ringling, circa October 1930 (from Art Digest article of October 1930); bequest to The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, 1936
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