Crossing the Styx

We have here an outstanding landscape, painted in the early 16th century by Patinir, who was considered the forefather of landscape painting. In this picture, the Flemish artist used very gentle greens and blues which, along with a high horizon line, produced a landscape that conveyed a sense of great tranquillity. The subject appears to be merely a pretext for creating the view, because some of the figures are so small they are almost impossible to identify.

On the left, we can see angels, which are a reference to Earthly Paradise. In the centre is the Styx lagoon, which according to Classical mythology, the dead were obliged to cross, guided by the boatman, Charon, who is shown larger than the soul he is transporting. On the right hand side we can see the three-headed dog, Cerberus, who guards the gates to hell.

(c) (R) 2013, MUSMon com S.L.
Text (a) Catalina Serrano Romero
English translation (a) Thisbe Burns