- Museum number
The Sun; the god in the sky holding the emblem of the sun and steering a chariot drawn by four horses, below is land divided by a river, and above is a scorpion; the figure of Phaeton captured in mid-air as he falls to the ground; inscribed at lower left: 'A', at lower centre: 'SOL XXXXIIII' and at lower right: '44'; encircled by a frame of diamonds. c.1470-80
- Production date
- 1470-1480 (circa)
Height: 174 millimetres
Width: 94 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The print belongs to the second version (called 'S series') of a group of fifty engravings traditionally known as the 'Tarocchi Cards of Mantegna' (for this set see the entry for Hind E.I.1a: P&D 1895-9-15-1). It is one of ten images in the fifth and last group of the set marked with the letter "A" and illustrates the ' Firmaments of the Universe'. The seven circles of the sun, moon and planets are followed by the sphere of the fixed stars, the Prime Mover and the First Cause (the dwelling place of God). The iconography of this images is based on the Libellus de imaginibus deorum, a treatise composed by an anonymous author around 1400, in its turn related to the Ovide Moralise.
The image is a reverse copy with minor differences of the 'E series' Sun (for a comparison see Hind E.I.44a and Mark J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, part 3, 2000, p. 55, no. 044a).
Other impressions of the print are in Bassano (Museo Civico); in the Cincinnati Art Museum; Cambridge MA (Fogg Art Museum, Harvard Universiry); Chatsworth (Collection of the Duke of Devonshire); Dresden (Kupferstichkabinett, Zwinger); Vienna; Paris; and in the Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris).
The BM has a duplicate of the print (P&D 1845-8-25-351).
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number