Andrea Sacchi: Portrait of Marc'Antonio Pasqualini crowned by Apollo (1641)

(Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, USA)

A work from the Italian artist Andrea Sacchi (1599-1661). The man on the left is Marc'Antonio Pasqualini (1614 – 1691), a famous Italian castrato opera singer and composer. The painting is an allegorical portrait and shows Marc'Antonio playing on an upright harpsichord which is decorated with the figures of Daphne and a bound satyr. Marc'Antonio is crowned by the Apollo, the God of music, poetry, art and the sun). The person on the right in the background is the satyr Marsyas. Marsyas and Apollo had a contest of music which Marsyas lost. As a result was flayed alive by Apollo and his skin was nailed to a pine tree. Painting from 1641.