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Cloelia Crossing the Tiber

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.


c. 1540


Giulio Bonasone (Italian, c. 1510–after 1576)
after Polidoro Caldara, called Polidoro da Caravaggio (Italian, c. 1499-c. 1543)
published by Antoine Lafréry (French, active Italy, 1512-1577)

About this artwork

Plutarch’s early history of Rome recounts the bravery of Cloelia, who was one of several hostages held by the Etruscans during peace negotiations. Cloelia lead a group of women in their escape away from the Clusium camp and across the Tiber river.
With dramatic contrast, Giulio di Antonio Bonasone engraved flourishing dresses and swirling waters in the foreground and closely parallel lines in the shadowy background to heighten the excitement of the rescue. The sculptural effect of the light and dark values mimic an architectural frieze, the original composition of which may have been designed by Polidoro da Caravaggio.


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Giulio Bonasone


Cloelia Crossing the Tiber


Italy (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.



Engraving in black on ivory laid paper


Image/sheet, trimmed within platemark: 29.3 × 42.5 cm (11 9/16 × 16 3/4 in.)

Credit Line

Elizabeth Hammond Stickney Collection

Reference Number


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