This retelling of the story of Cyparissus draws liberally from Ovid in the Metamorphoses, Book X. The cypress was also a recurring presence in the painting of Vincent van Gogh, who described his preoccupation with the tree in a letter to his brother Theo from the South of France: "The cypress is always occupying my thoughts.... It is as beautiful of line and proportion as an Egyptian obelisk. And the green has a quality of such distinction.... It is a splash of black in a sunny landscape, but it is one of the most interesting black notes, and the most difficult to hit off exactly that I can imagine." (The Complete Letters of Vincent van Gogh [Boston: Bulfinch, 1991], No. 596, 25 June 1889).
Cyparissus transformed into the cypress tree (engraving by Johannes Baur from digitalized 1703 edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses, University of Vermont, The Ovid Project).
Domenichino, The Transformation of Cyparissus (National Gallery, London).
Alexander Ivanov, Apollo, Hyacinthus and Cyparissus Singing and Playing Music (Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, via Olga's Gallery).
Cypresses by Vincent Van Gogh (various collections via Olga's Gallery)
Apollo & Cyparissus (The World History of Male Love)
The Ovid Collection (University of Virginia)
The Ovid Project (University of Vermont)
Van Gogh's Letters (Web Exhibits)