Rape of Persephone with Pluto on horseback at right

Giuseppe Scolari Italian

Not on view

Smitten by love for Proserpina, Pluto (also known as Hades), lord of the Underworld, carried her off violently in his infernal chariot, plunging through the Bay of Cyane into his subterranean realm. Scolari, who was also a painter, is best known today for his technically inventive and highly expressive woodcuts, which he both designed and cut. In his only depiction of a mythological subject, the artist captures the moment when the earth splits open, the waters of the bay pour into the void, and the fires of Hades issue forth, while the maiden struggles to free herself from her captor.

This print is from a scrapbook (album) containing woodcuts and chiaroscuro prints. It was presumably taken apart when it was acquired by The Met in 1922. On the front page of the volume there appeared a statement that this collection was made by the poet Samuel Rogers (1763-1855) and then bought by Angela Coutts (1816-1906) in memory of him at the sale of the collection at his house (28 April – 20 May, 1856). #1615a Rogers Sale. #146 Burdett Coutts Sale (Sotheby’s, May 1922). The prints from the original album have the range 22.73.3-1–22.73.3-161.

Rape of Persephone with Pluto on horseback at right, Giuseppe Scolari (Italian, active Venice, 1562–1607), Woodcut

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