Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Early Modern European Visions of Antiquity

Master of the Die (active in Rome)
Bacchus served by Putti
ca. 1530-60
British Museum

Léon Davent after fresco at Fontainebleau by Francesco Primaticcio
Hercules and Omphale in bed dressed in one another's clothes
awakening to discover Pan approaching the Queen (from Ovid's Fasti)

ca. 1540-45
British Museum

Taddeo Zuccaro (active in Rome)
Horses fighting, a Rider, and a Swan - after a sarcophagus now in the Uffizi representing the Fall of Phaethon
ca. 1550
British Museum


Life hurries on, a frantic refugee,
     And Death, with great forced marches, follows fast;
     And all the present leagues with all the past
     And all the future to make war on me.
Anticipation joins to memory
     To search my soul with daggers; and at last,
     Did not damnation set me so aghast,
     I'd put an end to thinking, and be free.
The few glad moments that my heart has known
     Return to me; then I foresee in dread
     The winds upgathering against my ways,
Storm in the harbor, and the pilot prone,
     The mast and rigging down; and dark and dead
     The lovely lights whereon I used to gaze.

 Petrarch (1304-1374), translated by Morris Bishop (1893-1973)

Virgil Solis (active in Germany)
Triumphal Procession of Music
before 1562
British Museum

Anonymous copy after Francesco Primaticcio
Apollo and Pan making music, from ceiling painting at Fontainebleau
before 1570
British Museum

Giulio Bonasone (active in Bologna)
Seated Pan, standing Nymph with cornucopia, and Cupid with cymbals
before 1576
etching, engraving
British Museum

Agostino Carracci (active in Bologna and Rome)
Omnia vincit amor - Cupid overcoming Pan, with Nymphs watching
British Museum

Bartholomäus Reiter (active in Germany)
Venus seated in Pan's lap, Cupid in foreground
British Museum

Anonymous English printmaker
Title-page to Juvenilia by George Wither
with figures of Pan and the author
British Museum

Herman van Swanevelt (active in Rome)
Pan pursuing Syrinx on a riverbank
ca. 1635-40
British Museum

William Marshall (active in England)
Title-page to Michael Drayton's poems
with figures of Minerva, Apollo, Pan, and shepherd playing bagpipes 
British Museum

Antoine Jacquard (active in France)
Ornamental print - Pan and Syrinx
before 1640
British Museum

Charles Mellin (active in Rome)
Apollo with the body of Hyacinthus
ca. 1640
drawing, formerly attributed to Nicolas Poussin
British Museum


O unforgiving thoughts, I pray you: Peace!
     Must I contend with Love and Death and Fate
     Hot at the walls and pressing at the gate
     Whilst inward rebels give me no surcease?
Ah, heart of mine, what treacherous caprice
     Has made of you a cruel confederate,
     With every eager foeman of my state?
     'Tis through your faithlessness my woes increase.
All secret messages of Love you know;
     Fortune displays its every pomp to you;
     Death shares with you the memory of that blow
Which must these sad remains of me undo;
     You give false arms to each fond thought, and so
     Yours is the blame for every grief I rue.

 Petrarch (1304-1374), translated by T.G. Bergin (1904-1987)

Cassiano dal Pozzo Paper Museum (Rome)
Bacchic scene - based on Roman sarcophagus in the Villa Borghese, Rome - now in the Louvre
ca. 1650
British Museum

Raymond Lafage (active in France)
Worship of Priapus
before 1684
British Museum