- Museum number
Theseus and Ariadne by the Cretan labyrinth; in the foreground the labyrinth (lettered: 'AbbE RINTO') with the two figures named: 'TESEO' and 'ADRIANNA'; in the background from the left Ariadne is seen abandoned on a rocky island, making signals to Theseus's ship, plunging into the sea, being rescued by Jupiter and carried to heaven; on the right Aegeus, father of Theseus, is shown throwing himself into the sea; several scrolls bear the names of the figures. c.1460-70
- Production date
- 1460-1470 (circa)
Height: 201 millimetres
Width: 264 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This is the third and last state of this print: the BM has one from the second state (Hind.A.II.16.II), the first is in Paris.
The composition is broadly similar, but in reverse, to a double-page drawing in the so-called 'Florentine Picture-Chronicle', an album of pen-and-ink drawings in the BM (ff.29v-30; see B. Degenhart, A. Schmitt, 'Corpus der italienischen Zeichnungen 1300-1450, Teil I: Sud-und Mittelitalien', 4, Berlin, 1968; pl. 410). There are a large number of differences between the drawing and the print: most significantly, the omission of Ariadne in the foreground (she is only shown in the background); and the labyrinth is inscribed in a frame with a classical garland "AbERINTO TESEUS". Hind's view that the 'Picture Chronicle' drawing was the source for the print is now not generally accepted (see L. Whitaker, 'Maso Finiguerra , Baccio Baldini and "the Florentine Picture Chronicle"', in E. Copper, 'Florentine drawings at the time of Lorenzo the Magnificent. Papers from a colloquium held at the Villa Spelman, Florence', Bologna, ed. 1994, pp. 181-196, notably pp. 185-186, 191-194).
The print is now generally thought to be a typical work of Baccio Baldini or his studio (see the entry for Hind, A.II.2: 1902-8-22-1).
For a recently discussion on the present engraving see the entry by Antony Griffiths in 'Landmarks in print collecting. Connoisseurs and donors at the British Museum since 1753', edited by Antony Griffiths, London, 1996, p. 107, no. 36).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1996 April-June, Houston, Mus of Fine Arts, Landmarks in Print Collecting
1996 July-Sep, LA, Huntington Library/AG, Landmarks in Print Collecting
1996, Oct-Dec, Baltimore, Museum of Arts, Landmarks in Print Collecting
1997 Jan-April, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Landmarks in Print Collecting
2010/11 July-Jan, Barcelona, CCCB, Through Labyrinths.
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number