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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Bernard Picart
French, 1673–1733

Apollo and Diana Kill Niobe’s Children with Their Arrows; She is Turned into Stone from The Temple of the Muses

Etching, 1731
Museum Purchase, 1984.46

A tragic figure from Greek mythology, Niobe was the daughter of Tantalus and the queen of Thebes. She was the mother of seven sons and seven daughters. Niobe boasted of her fecundity while attending a ceremony dedicated to the goddess Leto. Leto, the mother of the gods Apollo and Artemis, was angered by the comparison and sent her children to slaughter Niobe’s progeny. In her grief, Niobe turned to stone from which her tears poured continuously.