An image of Proserpine

Hendrick Goltzius

(Netherlands 1558 – 1617)

Proserpine

Other titles:
Persephone
Location
Not on display
Further information

Pluto abducted Proserpine while she was gathering flowers in a glade in Sicily and carried her off to the land of the dead to be his wife. Jupiter interceded to have her set free but she was forced to spend part of each year in the land of the dead. While she is absent from the world, in autumn and winter, vegetation dies; in spring and summer, when she is free to live on the earth, nature regenerates and flourishes. In this print she perches weightlessly on a rock with her body impossibly twisted into a graceful serpentine curve. Her habitat is a landscape of natural abundance befitting the goddess of fertility.

Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500–1900, 2014

Year
1588-1590
Media
Print
Medium
chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and tone blocks in olive green and tan
Dimensions
34.7 x 26.2 cm image (oval); 39.4 x 29.0 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.

Credit
Purchased 1983
Accession number
229.1983