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This painting combines portraits of individuals with mythological characters.

The figure to the left could be the god Pan but also displays some of the attributes of a satyr - goat’s legs, horns and horse’s ears. In either case, he would represent the theme of lust. The boy, who is painted as an individual, is presumably a family member, dressed up as Cupid, the god of love. We are left to work out the story, and what this might say about the status of the female sitter to the right.

March 2011