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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Abraham Bloemaert
Dutch, 1564–1651


Etching, about 1610
William J. Hitchcock Fund in memory of Grace J. Hitchcock, 1989.7

Juno was a goddess especially revered in the city of Rome before the Christian era. As wife of the chief Roman god, Jupiter, she is shown in this print carrying a scepter, a sign of her authority. Her constant companion, a peacock, brushes against the back of her leg while, in the far background, a second depiction of Juno is carried along in the clouds by a peacock-driven chariot. The chariot in the clouds refers to Juno’s association with the element of air.

Abraham Bloemaert is responsible for the design of over 600 prints, though his designs were generally executed by other artists. According to Ger Luijten, former curator of prints at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, this print is one of the few, perhaps only, to have been executed by Bloemaert himself. There is a strong similarity in the zigzag line work seen in this print and the known drawings of the artist.