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The Fall of the Giants

A work made of etching with drypoint in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of etching with drypoint in black on ivory laid paper.




Salvator Rosa
Italian, 1615-1673

About this artwork

Just as the Giants—Gaia’s offspring—attempt to storm the throne of the Olympian gods, Jupiter brings them crashing down with a thunderbolt. He can be seen at the top in the clouds. Salvator Rosa executed this colossal composition at the pinnacle of his etching career, and dedicated it to the Florentine poet Horatio Quaranta. Rosa’s pessimistic admonition appears at the bottom of the sheet: “They are raised up high that they may be hurled down in more terrible ruin.”
Multitalented with boundless energy, Rosa was also a poet, actor, musician, and painter. He made this print to promote his ideas for a painting of the same subject in hopes that a patron would sponsor its execution.


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Prints and Drawings


Salvator Rosa


The Fall of the Giants


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 1663


Etching with drypoint in black on ivory laid paper


72.8 × 47.4 cm (28 11/16 × 18 11/16 in.)

Credit Line

Elizabeth Hammond Stickney Collection

Reference Number


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