Hermaphroditus and the Nymph Salmacis

around 1580/82, Artist: Bartholomäus Spranger



Hermaphroditus and the Nymph Salmacis

The naiad of the fountain of Salmacis is consumed with love for Hermaphroditus, a son of Hermes and Aphrodite. As this love is not reciprocated, Salmacis asks the gods to melt their two bodies and tempts the youth into her fountain. This fountain will turn all those who bathe in it into hermaphrodites. The picture composition enhances the erotic character of the scene: while the nymph, secretly and unobserved, watches the handsome youth, she herself reveals her charms.

Currently not displayed.

Object data

Object Name





around 1580/82


Bartholomäus Spranger (1546 Antwerpen - 1611 Prag) - GND




110,5 cm x 81,5 cm
Framed: 125,5 cm x 96,5 cm x 8,5 cm

Image rights

Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, Gemäldegalerie

Inv. No.

Gemäldegalerie, 2614


From the treasury Rudolf II.

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