Oil on canvas, 120cm by 137.25cm.
This is one of three paintings purchased by the 5th Earl of Exeter, (see its pair PIC393, also PIC467), depicting aspects of the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Orpheus attempted to rescue his dead wife Eurydice from Pluto, the god of the Underworld, through the exquisite beauty of his music, which nothing and no one could resist. 1738 Inventory: ‘The Marble Saloon. Over one Door is Orpheus playing upon a Violin, a loose Garment flung over him, on one Side a Sheep, on the other Side a Boy, Birds in the Trees over him. Over the other Door, Orpheus coming to release Euridice, his Violin in his Hand, Pluto with a Key in one Hand, a Scepter in the other, Euridice behind in Flames, 3 Feet 5 Inches Square, each done by Genuro”. The dog is mistakenly described as a boy.