Circe with Companions of Ulysses Changed into Animals

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

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  • A work made of etching on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1650–51

Artist:

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione
Italian, 1609-1664

About this artwork

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione was a painter, printmaker, and draftsman who studied under Anthony van Dyck and Giovanni Andrea de Ferrari. He was known as a specialist in the depiction of animals, and the various creatures on the right of this etching show his dexterity. Circe, the daughter of the sun in Greek mythology, was a sorceress known for her ability to transform men into animals. In Homer’s Odyssey, Circe invites Ulysses and his men to a feast. During the meal, she drugs the men and turns them into pigs. Some art historians argue that because the animals in this etching are not pigs, the subject is actually the pensive figure of Melancholy, made famous by a 1514 Albrecht Dürer engraving.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione

Title

Circe with Companions of Ulysses Changed into Animals

Origin

Italy

Date

1650–1651

Medium

Etching on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

215 x 309 mm (image/sheet; cut within plate)

Credit Line

Prints and Drawings Purchase Fund

Reference Number

1939.314

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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