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About This Artwork
Faun Attacking a Snake, c. 1500
Engraving in black on ivory laid paper
292 x 183 mm
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson, 1937.291
This engraving reproduces a pen-and-ink drawing by Andrea Mantegna, now preserved in the British Museum and dated to the period 1480/85. Because of the inscription, the subject has at times been identified as Hercules slaying the Hydra, but the pointed ears of the figure identify him as a faun. The inscription may actually refer to Ercole d'Este, Duke of Ferrara.