OIL PAINTING: Phyllis and Demophoon, 1870
n a story related by both Ovid and Chaucer, Phyllis, the daughter of the King of Thrace, falls in love with the beautiful youth Demophoon, the son of Theseus. Demophoon leaves Thrace, but vows to return. When he fails to keep his promise Phyllis kills herself, but is transformed into an almond-tree by the gods. Demophoon eventually returns and, grief-stricken at the fate of his lover, embraces the tree. It immediately breaks into flower, signifying Phyllis's forgiveness.