Home Introduction Works of Art Map Resources Teachers Guide
attributed to Francesco da Sangallo, Italian, 1494–1576
previously attributed to Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, Italian, 1507–1563
Reclining Pan, c.1535
25 x 53 inches
Museum Purchase 171:1926a–n

Pan lies on a rocky bed surrounded by vines, grape clusters, and a slithery salamander. Carved from marble in this sculpture, Pan the satyr (SAY-ter)—a half-human, half-goat creature of mythology—is very well known for his bad behavior. This god of forests, mountains, flocks, and shepherds lives in the woods and often carries a reed pipe (seen here in his right hand). The pipe refers to the story of Pan and the maiden Syrinx (SEAR-inks). One day Syrinx saw Pan in the woods. She knew of his reputation and decided to run away before he could talk to her. Reaching a river that was too dangerous to cross, she asked the gods for help to escape. They changed her into a patch of reeds. Pan, heartbroken at losing Syrinx, picked several of the reeds and made a musical pipe, playing it in her honor.

For younger students:
Write three words you would use to describe the sculpture of Pan.
Describe the environment in which Pan lives.Which details from the sculpture would you use in your description?

For older students:
Would you say this sculpture is real, stylized, or abstract? Why? (Use details from the sculpture to support your answer.)
This sculpture once served as a fountain in a garden.Why would a person want a fountain featuring Pan?

Click on image to examine detail Previous Prev Next Next