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Arion riding on a Dolphin

Photo credit: Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford

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Painted c.1509–1510, this painting may have had some personal significance for its first owner. It is probably too large to have been the cover for a portrait. The poet Arion, having been thrown overboard by sailors in a storm, was carried to Corinth on the back of a dolphin, whom he charmed with his music (Ovid, 'Fasti' 3, 83–118). Arion, unusually, is shown as a child. However Amor (Love) appears in Renaissance art as a child holding or riding a dolphin.

The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology



c. 1509–1510


tempera & oil (?) on panel


H 68.1 x W 53.7 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by the daughters of James Reddie Anderson, 1947

Work type



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The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

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