Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Hymn to Apollo

Eugène Delacroix
Apollo slaying Python
oil on canvas
Louvre, Paris


    There, the son of God most high,
    Famed for harping song, will I
Proclaim, and the deathless oracular word
From the snow-topped rock that we gaze on heard,
    Counsels of thy glorious giving
    Manifest for all men living,
How thou madest the tripod of prophecy thine
Which the wrath of the dragon kept guard on, a shrine
    Voiceless till thy shafts could smite
    All his live coiled glittering might.

    Ye that hold of right alone
    All deep woods in Helicon,
Fair daughters of thunder-girt God, with your bright
White arms uplift as to lighten the light,
    Come to chant your brother's praise,
    Gold-haired Phoebus, loud in lays,
Even his, who afar up the twin-topped seat
Of the rock Parnassian where on we meet
    Risen with glorious Delphic maids
    Seeks the soft spring-sweetened shades
Castalian, fain of the Delphian peak
Prophetic, sublime as the feet that seek.
    Glorious Athens, highest of state,
    Come, with praise and prayer elate,
O thou that art queen of the plain unscarred
That the warrior Tritonis hath always in guard,
    Where on many a sacred shrine
    Young bulls' thigh-bones burn and shine
As the god that is fire overtakes them, and fast
The smoke of Arabia to heavenward is cast,
    Scattering wide its balm: and shrill
    Now with nimble notes that thrill
The flute strikes up the song, and the harp of gold
Strikes up to the song sweet answer, and all behold,
    All, aswarm as bees, give ear,
    Who by birth hold Athens dear.

– translated from Greek by Algernon Charles Swinburne (1866)

Giulio Romano and workshop
Birth of Diana and Apollo
ca. 1530-40
oil on canvas
Royal Collection, Great Britain

Dosso Dossi
oil on canvas
Galleria Borghese, Rome

Pompeo Batoni
Apollo with two Muses
before 1787
oil on canvas
Wilanów Palace Museum, Warsaw

Nicolas Poussin
Parnassus with Apollo and the Muses
oil on canvas
Prado, Madrid

Cornelis van Poelenburgh
Musical contest between Apollo and Marsyas
oil on panel
Hallwyl Museum, Stockholm

Cornelis van Haarlem
Jupiter and the gods urging Apollo to take back the reins of his chariot
oil on panel
Prado, Madrid

Gérard de Lairesse
Apollo and Aurora
oil on canvas
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Charles de La Fosse
Sunrise with Chariot of Apollo
ca. 1672-81
oil on canvas
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen

Nicolas Régnier
ca. 1615-20
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Rosalba Carriera
ca. 1740-46
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Simone Cantarini
before 1648
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Claude Lorrain
Coast view with Apollo and the Cumaean Sibyl
ca. 1645-49
oil on canvas
Hermitage, Saint Petersburg

Abraham Bloemaert
Apollo and Diana slaying the children of Niobe
oil on canvas
Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen