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Reclining Pan

attributed to Francesco da Sangallo, Italian, 1494–1576
Previous attribution
Giovanni Angelo Montorsoli, Italian, 1507–1563
Place made
Rome, Lazio, Italy, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 236
25 x 52 3/4 x 23 1/4 in. (63.5 x 134 x 59.1 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
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Object Number
In this sculpture the satyr Pan reclines on a rocky base amid grape clusters and vines. His left hand clutches a goatskin called a nebris that he wears around his neck. Such details, together with the small salamander carved amid the rocks, evoke a rustic scene befitting Pan, the half goat-half human god of the woods, fields, and flocks known for his lecherous pursuits. The reed pipe, or syrinx, in Pan's right hand is an allusion to the maiden Syrinx, who was changed into a patch of reeds to escape the satyr's advances. Francesco da Sangallo carved this sculpture from a recycled piece of ancient marble and it once served as a fountain; its water spout is still visible at the mouth of the sack above his right arm.
le his collection. Indeed, the work may have been in the collection as early as 1600 when Peter Paul Rubens (1577-1640) sketched the "Reclining Pan" during his first trip to Italy. An entry in the Farington Diary records that Benjamin West (1738-1820) also saw the sculpture when he visited the Barberini collection in 1795 [letter from Ettore Sestieri dated May 28, 1948; Grieg, James, ed. "Farington Diary." Vol. 1. December 19, 1795, p. 125; SLAM document files].

In 1937, Prince Urban Barberini began negotiating with Mussolini to obtain special permission to export objects from the Barberini collection, including "Reclining Pan." In November 1947, the sculpture was finally allowed to leave Italy and enter the United States, where it was accessioned by the Museum the following month [letter dated January 19, 1948 from Adolph Loewi; Museum press release dated February 4, 1948; SLAM document files].

[2] Bill of sale dated January 5, 1947 [SLAM document files]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, December 4, 1947.
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