Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy, plate 8 from Parnassus Biceps

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.

Date:

1601

Artist:

Johann Theodor de Bry (German, 1561-1623)
after Jean-Jacques Boissard (French, 1533-1598)

About this artwork

In Greek mythology, the nine Muses governed the arts and music. Melpomene, in the print on the left, was the protector of tragedy; her counterpart Thalia, Muse of comedy and bucolic poetry, is visible on the right (see 1920.2043). Each Muse holds a mask—a tragic mask for Melpomene, a comic one for Thalia. The duality of tragedy and comedy as manifested in these two deities brings to mind the universally recognizable image of the laughing and weeping faces used to symbolize theater today.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Johann Theodor de Bry

Title

Melpomene, Muse of Tragedy, plate 8 from Parnassus Biceps

Origin

Frankfurt an der Oder

Date

1601

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Inscriptions

Signed in plate at lower left, "Io. Theo. de brÿ fe"; numbered "8" at upper right

Dimensions

235 × 140 mm (image); 257 × 140 mm (plate); 278 × 164 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

The Wallace L. DeWolf and Joseph Brooks Fair Collections

Reference Number

1920.2037

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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