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The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

Bernard Picart
French, 1673–1733

Sisyphus’s Stone from The Temple of the Muses

Etching, 1731
Museum Purchase, 1984.45

In the Greek legend illustrated here, the arrogant king Sisyphus, founder of the ancient city of Ephyra (Corinth), has been condemned to eternally push a boulder up a mountain for betraying secrets of the Olympian gods. Every time he nears the summit the boulder slips away and rolls back down, and Sisyphus must start again.