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The Crucifixion of Polycrates

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.


c. 1662


Salvator Rosa
Italian, 1615-1673

About this artwork

Salvator Rosa was an important printmaker as well as an admired painter. The artist’s oversize etching of the Greek Polycrates’ crucifixion by his Persian enemy (c. 522 b.c.) probably preceded his painting of the same subject. Rosa’s slightly simplified painting appears in reverse, likely because he worked from the print’s preparatory cartoon to create it. The legend beneath the print reads: “Polycrates, tyrant of Samos, famous for his wealth and good fortune, when he was captured by Oretes, Satrap of the Persians, and fastened on a cross, showed that no man can be truly called happy until he is dead.”


Currently Off View


Prints and Drawings


Salvator Rosa


The Crucifixion of Polycrates


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.



Etching, with drypoint, in black on ivory laid paper


Plate: 47 × 72.8 cm (18 9/16 × 28 11/16 in.); Sheet: 52.6 × 77 cm (20 3/4 × 30 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

John H. Wrenn Memorial Endowment

Reference Number


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Extended information about this artwork

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