The Cumaean Sibyl

Cumae; a beautiful location near Naples full of history. It was originally a Greek settlement, and, as the Greeks were prone to do, they brought a sibyl, a female prophetess, with them. Legends tell us that she lived in the cave shown below: sadly, she was not available for a consultation on our visit in 2016.

Below are two portraits of the Cumaean Sybil, both showing her as a young, attractive woman. Not all images of her are like this; we will see why this is is so later.

Domenichio: Borghese Gallery Rome

Jan van Eyck: panel from the Ghent Altarpiece

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