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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Simon Gribelin II
French, 1661–1733

Ornamental Panel from A Book of Several Ornaments Invented & Engraved by S. Gribelin (plate 6)

Engraving, 1682
Gift of Geoffrey R. Bennett, 1962.62

A medallion portrait—a profile bust of a Roman soldier—occupies the center of this print. Below the medallion the legend Tam Marti, Quam Mercurio (As much Mars as Mercury) is inscribed on the pedestal. The phrase means “Equally qualified for war (represented by Mars) and for diplomacy, or trade (represented by Mercury).”Foliate acanthus patterns emerge from the frame of the round central portrait that is supported on an ornate Baroque pedestal. Two putti fly in opposite directions holding ropes supporting various armaments (attributes of Mars) and attributes of Mercury, including winged hat, snake coiled staff (the caduceus), and hour glass.