Orpheus and Eurydice

Artist: Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, Argini (?) ca. 1480–before 1534 Bologna (?))

Artist: After? Francesco Francia (Italian, Bologna ca. 1447–1517 Bologna)

Date: ca. 1500–1506

Medium: Engraving

Dimensions: 5 1/16 x 3 7/8in. (12.9 x 9.8cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1956

Accession Number: 56.581.12


Marcantonio depicts the famed musician Orpheus (son of Apollo and the Muse Calliope) and his beloved Eurydice, who on their wedding day had been fatally bitten by a snake. The inconsolable groom descended to Hades, land of the dead, where his singing and lyre 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 related by Ovid in his narrative poem 'Metamorphoses', was returned to Orpheus (Metamorphoses10.49).