Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, ca. 1480before 1534)
Engraving; undescribed second state; sheet 5 1/16 x 3 7/8 in. (12.9 x 9.8 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956 (56.581.12)
Marcantonio has depicted the famed musician Orpheus, son of Apollo and the Muse Calliope, accompanied by his beloved Eurydice, who had been fatally bitten by a snake on their wedding day. The inconsolable groom descended to Hades, land of the dead, where his singing and lyre playing so charmed Pluto and Proserpina that he was allowed to lead Eurydice out of the Underworld. The moment shown may be when Eurydice, "limping a little, from her late wound," as Ovid tells us, was returned to Orpheus (Metamorphoses 10.49).