Rape of Persephone with Pluto on horseback at right
Giuseppe Scolari (Italian, active Venice, 1562–1607)
Sheet: 17 13/16 in. × 14 in. (45.3 × 35.5 cm) Mount: 20 1/4 in. × 15 3/8 in. (51.4 × 39.1 cm)
Rogers Fund, 1922
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.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Marking: On mount at bottom center in ink: 'Giuseppe Scolari, 1580'
Vendor: E. Parsons & Sons (British)
Johann David Passavant Le Peintre-Graveur. Leipzig, 1860, cat. no. VI.236.67, p. 236.