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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Carlo Cesio
Italian, about 1622–about 1682
After Annibale Carracci
Italian, 1560–1609

Aurora and Cephalus, from Galeria nel Palazzo Farnese in Roma (Gallery of the Farnese Palace in Rome)

Etching and engraving, about 1675
Gift of Irving E. Macomber, 1964.28

Aurora, goddess of the dawn, aggressively embraces the protesting Cephalus as he twists his nude body away. The horse drawn chariot of the sun appears to have been halted by the ardent goddess. Cephalus’s hunting hound, a large, strong mastiff-like dog, rests in the foreground and gazes up at the struggling couple, somewhat bored by the scene. Cupid, with a resigned look on his face, flies away carrying a platter of flowers. Cephalus was the son of the god Hermes and the mortal woman Herse, daughter of the king of Athens. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, Aurora carried Cephalus away to Mount Olympus.Strong curving and crosshatched engraved lines create volume and value in this strongly lit scene.