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Monday 5 February 2018

Pietro Aquila’s etching (1674) after Annibale Carracci’s fresco in the Palazzo Farnese

Pietro Aquila (1650–1692)

“Plate 5: Jupiter and Juno; the flaying of Marsyas; Boreas and Oreithyia”, 1674, after Annibale Carracci’s (1560–1609) fresco in the Farnese Gallery (west wing of the Palazzo Farnese), from the series of 24 engravings, “Galeriae Farnesianae Icones”, published in Rome by Giovanni Giacomo de' Rossi (1627–1691).

Etching with engraving on heavy laid paper lined with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 34.5 x 71.3 cm; (plate) 29 x 68.4 cm; (image) 26 x 67 cm
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Annibal Carraccius pinx. in. Aedibus Farnesianis”; (left of centre) “Marsyas ab Apolline victus, et excoriates / Io. Iacob de Rubeis formis Romae ad Temp. S. Mariae de Pace cu Priv. S. Pont.”; (right of centre) “Et soror et coniunx SATURNIA DIVA TONANTIS / iungor in amplexus, thalamo veneranda pudico; / aethereisque simul tedis calefacta mariti, / aera per liquidum, rerum primordia voluo”; (right) “5 / Orithya à Boreȃ rapta, et in ventum conuersa / Petrus Aquila delin et sculp.”

Le Blanc p. 53 (Ch. Le Blanc 1854[–1889], “Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, contenant un dictionnaire des graveurs de toutes les nations”, 4 vols., Paris)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Plate 5: View from one of the painted walls in the Galleria Farnese; at centre, in a squared frame, Zeus and Juno; Juno, joining Zeus in a bed, a peacock to left; to left, in a roundel, Apollo slaying Marsyas; to right (Metamorphoses 6:382-400), in a roundel, Boreas kidnapping Areithya (Metamorphoses 6:692-722); several nude male figures seen standing and seated by the scenes; c.1674 Etching with some engraving”

See also the description of the print at the NGV:

Condition: crisp, richly inked and well printed early impression showing no sign of wear to the printing plate. The print has been laid down on an archival support sheet as there are significant signs of use at the edges (i.e. battered corners, tears and surface marks) but these issues are mainly in the margins.

I am selling this huge etching translating a section of Carracci’s fresco in the Farnese Gallery into a composition of line and dot for [deleted] at the time of posting this listing). Postage for this print is extra and will be the actual/true cost.

If you are interested in purchasing this spectacular masterwork of interpretative printmaking , please contact me ( and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

This print has been sold

To my eyes, Michelangelo’s influence in this composition is unmistakable. Apart from the statuesque musculature and flawless skin of the naked chaps holding the bits of architecture together, the design itself has the ghost of Michelangelo’s hand on it. Note, for example, how the sequencing of embedded scenes is a remarkably similar visual device as that employed by Michelangelo for the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel where he separated his sequence of scenes with trompe-l'œil architectural features. Perhaps even more interesting is that both artists have also used roundels as medallion-like embedded images, such as the grisly scene of Apollo flaying Marsyas alive shown on the left, to effectively “punctuate” a viewer’s reading of the composition as a whole.

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