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Alcon Slaying the Serpent

A work made of chiaroscuro woodcut printed from two blocks in black and olive green on cream laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of chiaroscuro woodcut printed from two blocks in black and olive green on cream laid paper.

Date:

1510–15

Artist:

Hans Wechtlin, I
German, 1480/85-after 1526

About this artwork

Hans Wechtlin was one of the earliest German printmakers to make color woodcuts. This classical subject exists in blue-gray impressions as well as the present olive-green version; the tone block would simply have been printed in a different color with the black key block. The story portrayed in this work, slightly obscure even during the Renaissance, was mentioned by the ancient Roman poet Virgil. The woodcut depicts the Cretan Alcon saving his son from strangulation by a serpent with his excellent archery skills. His writhing young child is reminiscent of the snake-wrapped boys in the more famous Laocöon sculpture unearthed in Rome only a few years earlier, in 1506.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Hans Wechtlin, I

Title

Alcon Slaying the Serpent

Place

Germany (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.

1510–1515

Medium

Chiaroscuro woodcut printed from two blocks in black and olive green on cream laid paper

Dimensions

Image/block/sheet: 27.4 × 18.3 cm (10 13/16 × 7 1/4 in.)

Credit Line

William McCallin McKee Memorial Endowment

Reference Number

1938.1128

IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

Learn more.

https://api.artic.edu/api/v1/artworks/89481/manifest.json

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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