Apollo as Protector of Viniculture

Marten van Valckenborch the Elder

Photo: UMJ/N. Lackner

Marten van Valckenborch the Elder (1535–1612)


Apollo as Protector of Viniculture

Oil on canvas

Inv. no. 902

Thriving landscapes – praise of civilization


The era dreams of the ideal of a well-ordered world, of the harmonious interaction of all walks of life. A symbol of this is well cultivated land which produces rich harvests, a counter-image to the reality determined by hunger. Man is integrated into the annual cycle of nature. The Sun, when it shines, ensures the growth of crops. The universally feared crop failures seem remote. Daily work is done by dependent farmers. Their life is entirely in the hands of the landlord, whose castle conspicuously towers above the fields.


The sun god Apollo is at the same time a protector of culture and the arts. This is what the lyre stands for, his classical attribute. The painting was probably part of a cycle of allegories, which depicted the months, times of day or seasons.

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