Wilton Album, folio 10a: Priapus and Lotis, Anonymous, Italian, 16th century, Etching

Wilton Album, folio 10a: Priapus and Lotis

Anonymous, Italian, 16th century
Based on a drawing attributed to Parmigianino (Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola) (Italian, Parma 1503–1540 Casalmaggiore)
Based on a drawing attributed to Girolamo Mazzola Bedoli (Italian, Viadana ca. 1505–ca. 1570 Parma)
Etching tentatively attributed to Bertoia (Jacopo Zanguidi) (Italian, Parma 1544–?1573 Caprarola (?)) by Diane De Grazia (1991)
ca. 1530–50
Sheet: 7 7/8 x 10 3/4 in. (20 x 27.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1927
Accession Number:
Not on view
Priapus, the ithyphallic god of gardens and fertility and the incarnation of unbridled carnal lust, was a favorite character in the erotic poetry of antiquity and the Renaissance. Long believed to represent Apollo and Daphne, this print instead illustrates a scene from the story of Priapus and Lotis narrated in Ovid's Fasti (elegiac verses commemorating the rustic rituals and celebrations of the ancient Roman calendar) in which the fleeing nymph is transformed into a tree to avoid the rapacious god's advances. An act of censorship has removed, or, more accurately, obscured beneath an improbably swirling drapery, Priapus's enormous, offending phallus.
This etching reproduces the composition of a damaged drawing attributed to Parmigianino (Albertina, Vienna) and is possibly the work of his Parmese follower Jacopo Bertoia.
Apollo and Daphne (formerly known as)

Possibly Thomas Herbert, 8th Earl of Pembroke (British); By descent to Reginald Herbert, 15th Earl of Pembroke (British)
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selections from the Permanent Collection," January 8, 2007–March 25, 2007.

Herbet V (Anonyme), p. 67, no. 48
Felix Herbet Les Graveurs de l'École de Fontainebleau. B. M. Israël, reprint. Amsterdam, 1896-1902 (reprint 1969).