Mercury and Battus

Francisque Millet French

Not on view

The story of the old shepherd Battus, who, having witnessed Mercury's theft of a herd of cattle, promised not to disclose the secret, is recounted in Ovid’s Metamorphoses (II: 668 ff.). When tested by the god, shown here in the guise of a young shepherd, he pointed to the foot of the mountain where the cattle were hidden. Mercury then turned him into a stone. The picture was once attributed to Poussin. Its authorship is established by an engraving bearing Millet's name.

Mercury and Battus, Francisque Millet (French, 1642–1679), Oil on canvas

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