Ana Maria Pacheco

(Brazil, England 1943 – )

Sybil warns Sardine

Not on display
Further information

This work comes from a series eight prints titled the 'Misfortunes of a Sardine'. The story of the festival of the sardine was portrayed by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya (1746–1828) in the painting 'The burial of the sardine' c.1810. The work depicts a three-day carnival in Madrid that occurs 40 days before Lent in the Christian calendar. Masks worn during the festivities are to ward off criminals or those who died violently.

The sardine in Pacheco’s rendition has a human form with the face/mask of a fish. The series follows the journey of the female protagonist Sardine as she travels in the underworld. This print alludes to the epic poem the Aeneid (29-19 BCE) by Virgil, in which Sybil (a Roman prophetess) who lives in the underworld is given a golden bough (mistletoe) by Aeneas to guide him to find his father. In this work, Sibyl gives the golden bough to Sardine who then makes a mysterious journey by herself. The journey reflects Pacheco’s creative life, with Sardine eventually sailing away alone in a boat.

Place of origin
drypoint; printed on Somerset Textured 300gsm
31.5 x 33.0 cm mounted
Gift of John Clark 2020. Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number