- Inventory number
- Rubens, Peter Paul; Snyders, Frans
- Ceres and Pan
- Ca. 1620
- 178,5 cm x 280,5 cm
- On display
- Colección Real (Real Alcázar, Madrid, Pieça grande antes de el dormitorio de su magd. 1636, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Pieza que llaman dodne su magd. cenaba, 1666, nº 104; Real Alcázar, Pieza inmediata donde su magd. cenaba, 1686, s.n.; Real Alcázar, Pieza inmediata donde su magd. cenaba, 1701-1703, nº 237; Real Alcázar, Pinturas en las Bóbedas de Palacio, 1734, nº 639; Palacio del Buen Retiro, Madrid, pinturas recogidas de las Casas Arzobispales, 1747, nº 639; Palacio Real Nuevo, Madrid, cuarto del príncipe-cámara, 1794, s.n.; Palacio Real, Madrid, cuarto del príncipe-cámara, 1814-1818, s.n.).
As goddess of the Earth and agriculture, Ceres is depicted wearing a bundle of wheat spikes on her head. Beside her, Pan, the god of shepherds and herds, has a crown of oak leaves. Ceres symbolizes cultivated nature and Pan, wild nature. The horn of plenty and basket of fruit in their laps alludes to the fecundity and fertility of the Earth, which is strengthened by the fruit and vegetables strewn around them.
This is one of the many occasions when Rubens and Snyders worked together. The figures are by the former, who left the rendering of the fruit and vegetables to Snyders, a specialist in still life painting.
This work was made in the early teens of the seventeenth century, in the period of maximum collaboration between the two artists. It was brought to Spain by Rubens when he traveled there in 1628, as a present to Felipe IV. In 1636, it hung in Madrid's Alcázar Palace.