In classical mythology Pan was the god of shepherds and flocks and inhabited lonely spots in woods and mountains. He would take people and animals by surprise if they disturbed his midday rest, causing them to panic. [erste drei Buchstaben unterstrichen!] Böcklin depicts such a moment in this painting, using a realistic style to breathe life into the antique legend. Schack noted: ‘The aridness and desolation of a rocky southern landscape in the scorching heat of the midday sun has probably never been represented so truly and immediately as it is here.