Johann Georg Platzer: Latona turning the Lycian peasants into frogs (1730)

(Minneapolis Institute of Art, Minneapolis, USA)

A painting by the Austrian artist Johann Georg Platzer (1704-1761). This painting shows a scene from Greek mythology as told in the book Metamorphoses from the Roman poet Ovid. Leto (or Latona as she is called in Roman mythology) was wandering though Lycia (now in Southern Turkey) after giving birth to the gods Apollo and Artemis. Leto wanted to drink some water from a pond but local peasants refused to allow her to do so by stirring the mud at the bottom of the pond. Furious, Leto turned them into frogs for their inhospitality, forever doomed to swim in the murky waters of ponds and rivers were they are still trying to swear under the water (this explains the croaking of frogs). Painting from 1730.