The Metamorphosis of Alcyone

Vittore Carpaccio, Italian (active Venice), first documented 1490, died 1523/26

Made in Venice, Italy, Europe

c. 1502-1507

Oil on panel

27 3/8 × 49 9/16 inches (69.5 × 125.9 cm)

Curatorial Department:
European Painting

* Gallery 208, European Art 1100-1500, second floor

Accession Number:
Cat. 173

Credit Line:
John G. Johnson Collection, 1917

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After learning that her husband had died at sea, Alcyone threw herself into the sea and drowned. The gods took pity on the couple and changed them into kingfishers.

John G. Johnson acquired this panel from the heirs of the great English critic John Ruskin, whose writing on Venetian art and architecture had a great influence on nineteenth-century connoisseurs and travelers.

* Works in the collection are moved off view for many different reasons. Although gallery locations on the website are updated regularly, there is no guarantee that this object will be on display on the day of your visit.