This small painting in a massive frame is somewhat mysterious. When the Louvre bought it in 1883, it was thought to be by Raphael. Meanwhile it is generally attributed to his teacher Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci, better known as Pietro Perugino.

There are lots of contradictory dates for the picture. Most likely it was made in Florence during the lifetime (and maybe for) Lorenzo il Magnifico, who died in April 1492. Perugino was certainly in Florence from 1486 on, when he was fined ten florin for trying to mug someone, and maybe since 1483.

The picture might show Apollo and Marsyas, who challenged the god to a flute contest and was flayed for this hubris, but the flute player has been identified as Daphnis, the inventor of pastoral poetry, as well. Since Daphnis is the male form of Daphne, and Daphne is the Greek word for Laurel, this might be a witty hommage to Lorenzo.

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