"Here it is a faun, of the most formidable ugliness, who has felt the sting of Love's arrows and in his uncouth and shambling speech is endeavoring to charm the slim young nymph who sits on his knee. She hesitates and refuses, in the pretty feminine fashion, but she does not get up and run away, and she may yet be won". This is how William Walton describes the sculpture in his "Gallery of Sculpture", volume 1 from 1887.
The satyr, the dreaded pursuer of the nymphs, is an ever-present and necessary element in pastoral poetry, while the portrayal of nymphs also allowed the representation of decorous discussions on love and chastity which were popular in contemporary contexts. In medieval, renaissance and baroque allegory depictions of satyrs and cloven-hoofed beasts setting upon innocent nymphs in the woods were extremely popular, resulting in satyrs and goats to traditionally personify lust, thus other names of the statue - "Lust and innocence", "Lechery and purity", "Persuasion" and "Satyr and Nymph".
White marble group of satyr holding a young nymph on his knees, gripping her firmly by her hip and smiling as if inviting to take part in bacchanals, was shown first at the Paris Salon in 1881. The artist signed his work - Cyp. Godebski. The sculpture was later acquired by Jewish banker from Warsaw, Leon Feliks Goldstand (1871-1926), who offered it to the Warsaw's Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in 1904. In 1940 it was moved to the current location at the National Museum in Warsaw.
marble, 1881, 114 × 70 × 64 cm (44.8 × 27.5 × 25.1 in), inventory number MN 158428, on permanent display in the Gallery of 19th century art, Muzeum Narodowe w Warszawie (MNW)
Artinpl is individual, educational project to share knowledge about works of art nowadays and in the past in Poland.