The Tree of Forgiveness

LL 3635


This large oil painting illustrates a classical legend, Phyllis and Demophoön. After the conquest of Troy, Demophoön, the son of Theseus, stayed at the court of the King of Thrace. Phyllis, the King’s daughter, fell in love with the visitor. Demophoön agreed to marry Phyllis but first returned to Attica to sort out his affairs. However, he was away so long that Phyllis lost hope of his return and in a fit of anguish killed herself. The gods took pity on her and turned her into an almond tree. When Demophoön eventually returned he was filled with remorse and embraced the almond tree. Immediately the tree blossomed and Phyllis emerged to forgive her lover.