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  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1868,0822.23

  • Description

    The Cretan labyrinth with the story of Theseus and Ariadne; in the foreground a large labyrinth (lettered: 'AbbE RINTO') and two figures named: 'TESEO' and 'ADRIANNA'; in the background from the left Ariadne is seen abandoned on a rocky island making signals to Theseus' ship, plunging into the sea, and being rescued by Jupiter and carried to heaven; on the right Aegeus is shown twice throwing himself into the sea; several scrolls bear the names of the figures. c.1460-70 Engraving

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1460-1470 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 201 millimetres
    • Width: 264 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This is the second state of the subject, reworked in many places with broader parallel shading, notably on the labyrinth, on the ship's sails and on the figures of Theseus and Ariadne; the chiaroscuro seems here less deep than in Hind A.II.16.III. The first state 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 (for discussion of attribution and dating see the entry for Hind, A.II.2: 1902-8-22-1).

    Lit.: H. Chapman and M. Faietti, exhib. cat., BM, London, `Fra Angelico to Leonardo: Italian Renaissance Drawings`, 2010, under no. 34 (= Popham and Pouncey 274), fig. 6, p.171 (cat. entry by H. Chapman).

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  • Bibliography

    • TIB 24.2403.123.S2 bibliographic details
    • Hind 1938-48 A.II.16.II bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian XVc Mounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1868

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1868,0822.23

The Cretan labyrinth with the story of Theseus and Ariadne; in the foreground a large labyrinth  (lettered "AbbE RINTO") and two figures named "TESEO" and "ADRIANNA"; in the background from the l Ariadne is seen abandoned on a rocky island making signals to Theseus' ship, plunging into the sea, and being rescued by Jupiter and carried to heaven; on the right Aegeus is shown twice throwing himself into the sea; several scrolls bear the names of the figures.  c.1460-70 Engraving

The Cretan labyrinth with the story of Theseus and Ariadne; in the foreground a large labyrinth (lettered "AbbE RINTO") and two figures named "TESEO" and "ADRIANNA"; in the background from the l Ariadne is seen abandoned on a rocky island making signals to Theseus' ship, plunging into the sea, and being rescued by Jupiter and carried to heaven; on the right Aegeus is shown twice throwing himself into the sea; several scrolls bear the names of the figures. c.1460-70 Engraving

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