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Parnassus Profaned

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:

after 1520

Artist:

Master HFE
Italian, early 16th century

About this artwork

Artists in Renaissance Rome not only copied the antique but also parodied it in sometimes sensational ways. Here the mysterious Italian engraver H. F. E. turned Raphael’s Apollo on Parnassus fresco (and Marcantonio’s print, 1919.2554) into a sinuous, sexually charged bacchanal. Like the intertwined foreground couples, the overtly amorous back- ground trees are a far cry from the upright, slender trunks in Raphael’s work. They may reference a travel literature satire by the ancient writer Lucian, in which adventurers copulate with deadly trees. Apollo’s trusty steed, Pegasus, is perhaps the most recognizable mythological figure—here unusually shown from behind—as he hurriedly flies away from the debauched company below.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Master H.E.

Title

Parnassus Profaned

Origin

Italy

Date

1520–1599

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

355 × 506 mm (image/plate/sheet)

Credit Line

The Amanda S. Johnson and Marion J. Livingston Fund

Reference Number

2015.8

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 . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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