Cephalus and Procris

Godfried Schalcken Dutch

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 621

In his Metamorphoses, the ancient Roman poet Ovid told the story of the hunter Cephalus, who mistakes his wife Procris for his prey, fatally wounding her with his spear. In Schalcken’s version of this tragic tale, Cephalus cradles his wife in his arms as she expires on the forest floor. Recent conservation treatment has uncovered the artist’s graphic depiction of Procris’s wounds, which had been painted over at a later point in accordance with Victorian sensitivities. Alongside this realistic depiction of the body, the work displays Schalcken’s trademark attention to refined effects of illumination and luxurious textiles.

Cephalus and Procris, Godfried Schalcken (Dutch, Made 1643–1706 The Hague), Oil on canvas

Due to rights restrictions, this image cannot be enlarged, viewed at full screen, or downloaded.

Open Access

As part of the Met's Open Access policy, you can freely copy, modify and distribute this image, even for commercial purposes.


Public domain data for this object can also be accessed using the Met's Open Access API.