Methamorphoseos vulgare

Various artists/makers

Not on view

The first illustrated Italian edition of Ovid's Metamorphoses was published in Venice in 1497 and translated a Latin paraphrase of the fourteenth century. It had many reprintings, often, as in the case of this 1501 edition, with the same late fifteenth-century woodcuts.
This scene depicts the skilled metalworker Vulcan who, alerted by the all-seeing sun to his wife's infidelity, trapped Venus and Mars in an invisible metal net. Once the lovers were caught, Vulcan called the other Olympians to mock them. Mercury said he would gladly suffer embarrassment to trade places with Mars.

Methamorphoseos vulgare, Ovid (Roman, Sulmo 43 BCE–17 CE Tomis, Moesia), Printed book with woodcut illustrations

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