King Midas (Rei Midas)

Midas, king of Phrygia, was the son of a peasant named Gordian. He acquired the ability to turn into gold everything he touched, but gave up that privilege in order to survive. He witnessed a music contest between Pan and Apollo. As he voted in favor of the first contestant, the other revenged himself by modifying Midas’s appearance with donkey’s ears. The legend wants to show that all decisions are controversial.

Midas, rei da Frígia, era filho dum camponês chamado Górdio. Adquiriu a possibilidade de transformar em ouro tudo aquilo em que tocasse, mas desistiu dessa prerrogativa para poder sobreviver. Testemunhou um concurso musical entre Pã e Apolo. Como votou no primeiro concorrente o outro vingou-se modificando o seu aspecto com orelhas de burro. A lenda pretende demonstrar que todas as decisões são polémicas.

Johann Georg Bergmüller (1688-1768)-'king Midas listens to Pan's song'-oil on canvas Salzburg-Residenzgalerie

Hendrick de Clerck (ca 1560-1630)-'the contest between Apollo and Pan'-oil on copper Amsterdam-Rijksmuseum

Filippo Lauri (1623-1694)-'king Midas judging the musical contest between Apollo and Pan'-oil on copper Private collection

Walter Crane (1845-1915)-'king Midas with his daughter'-illustration in Nathaniel Hawthorne; Wonder book for boys and girls (1893)

Paris Bordonne (1500-1571)-'Apollo between Marsyas and Midas'-oil on canvas-ca 1530 Dresden-Staatliches Kunstsammlungen Alte Meister (Ovid; Metamorphoses, VI, 381-400)

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