Friday, September 30, 2011

The Temple of Muses

Mythological Figures and Fables

engraving of astrological zodiac figures emerging from conflagration at the beginning of the universe
The Chaos or the Origin of the World

human trees in back of reclining chimeric beast-humans : 17th c. engraving
Transformation of Cyguns into a Swan and Phaeton's Sisters into poplar trees

engraved battle between swordsman on flying horse and chimeric lion - book illustration
Bellerophon fights the Chimaera

engraved mythological person holds bull's head to the ground
Achelous in the shape of a Bull is vanquished by Hercules

Bernard Picart engraving of seated person playing violin (+ ornate baroque border)
Amphion builds the walls of Thebes by the Music of his Lyre

lyre-playing person rides on stylised fish in the ocean (engraving)
Arion preserved by a Dolphin

book illustration engraving by Bernard Picart of the mythological figure Atlas supporting the starry heavens on his shoulders
Atlas supports the Heavens on his shoulders

b&w figure of winged icarus from mythology plummets out of control to earth
The Fall of Icarus

18th c engraving of bearded merman in the ocean
Glaucus changed into a Sea-God

book illustration of human seated in moonlit clouds above a sleeping human on land
The Moon and Endymion

illustration of stylised ancient sailboat in trouble in big seas
The Dioscuri or Castor and Pollux the Guardians of Mariners

engraving of mythical Ulysses in a ship passes the sirens calling from the shallows
Ulysses and his companions avoid the charms of the Sirens

mythical Hercules wields club against 7-headed hydra beast
Hercules' Combat with the Hydra

man pushes rock up hill while winged monsters impedes the progress (mythological engraving)
Sisyphus's stone

In mythical hell scene, human is bound and rotated on a punishment wheel
Ixion's wheel

Bernard Picart's engraved mythological scene of hell with human misery all around

Bernard Picart (or Picard) (1673-1733) was a French book illustrator and one of the outstanding engravers from the first decades of the 18th century. His most famous work - see: Designer Religion - was an enormous compendium of the world's religions.

In 'Neueröffneter Musen-Tempel', a collection of mythological fables and stories (most notably from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses') is presented, accompanied by sixty copperplate engravings by Picart. The illustrations are superior in quality, even as they appeared in 1733 in the fading light of the Baroque tradition. The fabulous ornate border patterns lend the compositions something of a formal quality like framed paintings; indeed, Picart drew inspiration for a number of his engravings from mid-17th century works by the Rubens student, Abraham van Diepenbeeck. But the majority of the designs are by Picart himself.

Motives listed for Picart's illustration include: Alcyone, Alpheus, Andromeda, Apollo, Arethusa, Argonauts, Argus, Aristaeus, Artemis, Calais, Cassandra, Castor, Ceyx, Cycnus, Deucalion, Dioscuri, Echo, Enceladus, Endymion, Eos, Eurynome, Giants, Glaucus, Harpies, Heliades, Hera, Hermaphroditus, Hermes, House of Hypnos, Io, Iphis, Leander, Leucothoe, Lycaon, Memnon, Niobe, Niobids, Oeneus, Palladium, Pan, Perseus, Phaethon, Phineus, Polydeuces, Proteus, Pygmalion, Pyrrha, River Gods, Salmacis, Selene, Semele, Syrinx, Tantalus, The Flood, Tithonus, Trojan War, Troy, Underworld, Zetes, Zeus [source]

'The Temple of Muses' was published in France and Germany simultaneously in 1733 and includes captions in English, French, German and Dutch below each illustration. The images above are from a 1754 edition published in Amsterdam.


André . أندراوس البرجي said...

Belas imagens, ter-me-iam dado muito jeito para as minhas aulas de Cultura Romana sobre as Metamorfoses de Ovídio.
Imagino que conheças esta página, mas ainda assim aqui vai:

peacay said...

Thanks André. I know the link but I was a bit lazy with research this time! Cheers.

M3LH4D0 said...

the 1st thing i thought by just looking was in the tarot cards ;)

Post a Comment

Comments are all moderated so don't waste your time spamming: they will never show up.

If you include ANY links that aren't pertinent to the blog post or discussion they will be deleted and a rash will break out in your underwear.

Also: please play the ball and not the person.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Creative Commons License