C1765

Mercury, Argos & Io.

Superb c.18th engraving of a mythological scene by the master engraver William Woollett (1735-1785) of the myth of Mercury, Argus (Argos) and Io, found in The Metamorphoses written by Ovid. The myth of Mercury, Argus (Argos) and Io, in The … Read Full Description

$A 1,250

S/N: MYTH-1799-LORR–218738
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Details

Full Title:

Mercury, Argos & Io.

Date:

C1765

Engraver:

William Woollett 

Condition:

In good condition, strong impression, with wide uncut margins.

Technique:

Copper engraving.

Image Size: 

435mm 
x 325mm

Paper Size: 

570mm 
x 440mm
AUTHENTICITY
Mercury, Argos & Io. - Antique Print from 1765

Genuine antique
dated:

1765

Description:

Superb c.18th engraving of a mythological scene by the master engraver William Woollett (1735-1785) of the myth of Mercury, Argus (Argos) and Io, found in The Metamorphoses written by Ovid.

The myth of Mercury, Argus (Argos) and Io, in The Metamorphoses written by Ovid (I, 583 ; IX, 687): Jupiter (Zeus) falls in love with Io, a priestess of Hera, his wife quickly discovers the affair. Jupiter transforms himself into a bull and transforms Io into a beautiful white heifer in order to hide from Hera’s wrath. Hera understands his strategy and demands the heifer as a present. To end their affair, Hera puts Io under the guard of the giant Argus Panoptes, who has 100 eyes. Jupiter commands his son Mercury (Hermes) to set Io free by lulling Argus to sleep with an enchanted flute.

The original copper engraving plate is in the Blanton Museum of Art collection

References:
Fagan, L. A Catalogue Raisonné of the Engraved Works of William Woollett. London 1885 (2000): A landscape with a river to right; to left is Mercury about to strike Argus, who is slumped asleep; Io, in the form of a cow, looks on..
Mackenzie, I. British Prints Dictionary and Price Guide. Suffolk 1987: p.354.
Slater, J. Engravings and Their Value. 6th ed. London 1929: p.695-6.
Hind, A. A History of Engraving & Etching from the 15th Century to the Year 1914. New York (1923) 1963.: p.205-207,.
Salaman, M. The Old Engravers of England. London 1907: p. 182, p. 193-197.


Collections:
British Museum London: Registration number 1843,0513.328
Blanton Museum of Art. Texas: Accession Number: 2006.134 Engraving plate. / Accession Number: 2006.133 (restrike from the plate)

William Woollett (1735 - 1785)

William Woollett (1735-1785). Celebrated English engraver of landscapes, naval, military, historical, religious, classical and portraits. Born at Maidstone, of a family which came originally from the Netherlands. He was apprenticed to John Tinney, an engraver in Fleet Street, London and studied in the St Martin's Lane academy. He began his career engraving bill heads, cartouches and went on to produce country house views. In 1775, he was appointed engraver-in-ordinary to George III and was a member of the Incorporated Society of Artists. His works rank among the great productions of the English school of engraving.

View other items by William Woollett

Claude Lorrain (1604 - 1682)

Lorrain was a French painter, draughtsman and etcher of the Baroque era. He spent most of his life in Italy, and is one of the earliest important artists, apart from his contemporaries in Dutch Golden Age painting, to concentrate on landscape painting. His landscapes are usually turned into the more prestigious genre of history paintings by the addition of a few small figures, typically representing a scene from the Bible or classical mythology. By the end of the 1630s he was established as the leading landscapist in Italy, and enjoyed large fees for his work.

View other items by Claude Lorrain

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