The Forest Fire

Image credit: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

How you can use this image

This image can be used for non-commercial research or private study purposes, and other UK exceptions to copyright permitted to users based in the United Kingdom under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, as amended and revised. Any other type of use will need to be cleared with the rights holder(s).

Review the copyright credit lines that are located underneath the image, as these indicate who manages the copyright (©) within the artwork, and the photographic rights within the image.

The collection that owns the artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

Review our guidance pages which explain how you can reuse images, how to credit an image and how to find images in the public domain or with a Creative Commons licence available.

Buy a print or image licence

You can purchase this reproduction

If you have any products in your basket we recommend that you complete your purchase from Art UK before you leave our site to avoid losing your purchases.


Add or edit a note on this artwork that only you can see. You can find notes again by going to the ‘Notes’ section of your account.

Renowned for his originality and inventiveness, Piero di Cosimo painted many 'spalliera' panels with themes from classical literature. Dating from c.1505, this painting may have been one of a series described by Vasari as painted for Francesco del Pugliese. Two other panels of 'The Hunt' and 'The Return from the Hunt', now in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, are thematically related but seem to have been painted in the 1490s. All three are concerned with the history of early man, inspired by passages from Book 5 of 'De Rerum Natura' by Lucretius (98 BC–c.55 BC), who traces the origins of life on earth and the birth of community life, emphasising the role of fire as a catalyst for change. The New York pendants vividly depict a primitive world, while this painting could have been made for a different patron, taking up particular themes relating to more advanced stages of human life.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford



The Forest Fire


c. 1505


oil on panel


H 71.2 x W 202 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

Presented by the Art Fund, 1933

Work type



See a tag that’s incorrect or offensive? Challenge it and notify Art UK.

Help improve Art UK. Tag artworks and verify existing tags by joining the Tagger community.

Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Beaumont Street, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 2PH England

This venue is open to the public. Not all artworks are on display. If you want to see a particular artwork, please contact the venue.
View venue