The Flaying of Marsyas

c. 1570–1605
Location: not on view
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In this gruesome mythological scene, Apollo begins to flay, or peel the skin off, the satyr Marsyas as punishment for his arrogant challenge in a musical contest. The surrounding Olympian gods show reactions ranging from horror to fascination. The artist Johannes Stradanus helped found the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno (Academy of the Arts of Drawing) in Florence in 1563, which instituted a course of training for artists that included observing a human dissection. In making this image, Stradanus very likely understood the flaying of Marsyas as a metaphor for the importance of dissection and anatomical study to the artist.
The Flaying of Marsyas

The Flaying of Marsyas

c. 1570–1605

Jan van der Straet, called Johannes Stradanus

(Netherlandish, active Italy, 1523–1605)
Netherlands, 16th - 17th century

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