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Alexander in the Studio of Apelles

A work made of etching and drypoint on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching and drypoint on ivory laid paper.




Salvator Rosa
Italian, 1615-1673

About this artwork

Salvator Rosa most likely intended this large print as a companion to his The Genius of Salvator Rosa (2002.463). It shows a story from the Roman author Pliny of how Alexander the Great was humbled and mocked by the famous Greek painter Apelles. As the inscription describes, in the studio Alexander made many uninformed comments, and Apelles advised him to be silent, saying that the boys engaged in grinding colors were laughing at him. Like Apelles, Rosa had no qualms about declaring his superiority over his patrons. This anecdote was therefore a natural choice for the confident and headstrong Rosa, who wished to spread his reputation as a rebellious artist.


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Prints and Drawings


Salvator Rosa


Alexander in the Studio of Apelles


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.

Made 1657–1667


Etching and drypoint on ivory laid paper


Plate: 45.5 × 27.3 cm (17 15/16 × 10 3/4 in.); Sheet: 46.7 × 28.5 cm (18 7/16 × 11 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Endowment

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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