Monday, 30 April 2018

Henry Wolf’s wood-engraving, “Fuerst Otto von Bismarck in the Uniform of the Halberstaedter Cuirassiers”, c1898


Henry Wolf (1852–1916)

“Fuerst Otto von Bismarck in the Uniform of the Halberstaedter Cuirassiers”, c1898, after the Franz von Lenbach’s painting, “Bismarck in halberstädter Kürassieruniform”, 1890 (see Von Lenbach’s portrait at: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Franz_von_Lenbach_-_Bismarck_in_halberst%C3%A4dter_K%C3%BCrassieruniform_(1890).jpg)

Wood engraving proof on tissue-thin Japan paper that is backed with a support sheet, signed in pencil by the artist in the margin at lower right and signed on the plate at lower left.
Size: (sheet) 26.8 x 21.5 cm; (plate) 16.8 x 12.5 cm

Condition: faultless proof impression signed by the artist in pencil and on the plate. The sheet is in near pristine condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing, but the upper edge is lightly toned) and is backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper so that the delicate print can be handled. 

I am selling this marvellous example of Wolf’s outstanding skill as a wood engraver—I would like to say “unbelievable skill” but the evidence is in this print that he could inscribe such incredibly fine lines that need magnification to be seen!—for the total cost of AU$125 (currently US$94.25/EUR78.05/GBP68.57 at the time of posting this) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this outstanding wood engraving from the late 19th century, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold




This wood-engraving with its ultrafine linework is a superb example of the almost unbelievable level of skilled craftsmanship and discipline that was attained at the end of the 19th century. In some ways the ambition of wood engravers like Henry Wolf was simple: they wished to reproduce the focal clarity and seamless tonal gradations of a photograph before the commercial reproduction of photographs was possible. Sadly, the window of time when their dedication to reproducing photographs in hand-cut lines and dots suitable for publication was very brief. In short, advances in photolithography and photogravure brought the commercial viability of this process to an end.


Unlike wood engravings executed by the old masters like Durer, the technique employed here is slightly different even though the process is still fundamentally a hand-cut wood engraving. The critical difference is that the image to be cut is not drawn on the end-grain of the wood block. Instead, the design to be cut is actually a photograph printed onto the end-grain of the block treated with a light-sensitive emulsion. The advantage of using a photograph as a guide is that the tones to be reproduced in line are all laid out for graphic translation. 

If my explanation is cloudy, I strongly recommend reading Richard Benson’s (2008) account on page 214 in his book that should be in every print collector’s library: “The Printed Picture” (Museum of Modern Art, New York).








Sunday, 29 April 2018

Antonio Tempesta’s etching, “The Roman Misled by Civilis’ Horse that He was Dead or Injured”, 1611/12



Antonio Tempesta (1555?–1630)

“The Roman Misled by Civilis’ Horse that He was Dead or Injured” (TIB title), 1611/12, possibly after Otto van Veen (1556–1629) (according to the Rijksmuseum [see RP-P-OB-37,689), plate 17 from the series of 37 plates (including the frontispiece/titlepage), “The War of the Romans Against the Batavians” (Romanorvm et Batavorvm societas), published in the first edition (1612) with Latin letterpress text verso illustrating Tacitus, "Histories", IV, 24.

Inscribed on the plate with the artist’s monogram within the image borderline: (at lower right on the weapon blade) “AT”.
Lettered below the image borderline: (in five lines of Dutch text at left) “Het secours naer by synde, de belegherde vallen wt, Civilis / valt met syn peerdt, waer door de Romeynen moet grypen, / meynende dat hy doodt oft ghequetst was. De Hollanders / vervaert zynde, vluchten, ende laten het secours in trecken.”; (center within a circle) “17”; (in five lines of Latin text at right) “Cum auxiliary haud procul abessent, obsessi portis erumpunt. / Civilis lapsu equi prostratus, creditus aut vulneratus aut / interfectus, multum suis pavoris et hostibus alacritatis / dedit. Batavi fugientes, legiones ingredi Vetera permittunt.”

(Google transl. “When the auxiliary position not far from a distance, might, in the siege the gates of the break out. / Civil horse slipped down, or believed to be wounded / killed during much of its incredible panic / her. Of the Dutch, having escaped, they allow the legions to enter the Old Camp.”

Etching on laid paper trimmed to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Latin text on verso.
Size: (sheet) 16.5 x 21.1 cm
State i (of ii) Note: TIB lists this impression as “SI II” and the impressions without the Latin text verso as “SI I2”. In the second state the plate is “heavily retouched” and with “PLANCHE XVII / CIVILIS RENVERSÉ DE CHEVAL” lettered above the image borderline (amongst other changes).

TIB 35 (17).576 (145) (Sebastian Buffa (ed.) 1984, “The Illustrated Bartsch: Antonio Tempesta: Italian Masters of the Sixteenth Century”, vol. 35, Abaris Books, New York, p. 305); Bartsch XVII.145.576 i/ii (Adam von Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur,” Vienna); Nagler XVIII.179.560-.595 (G K Nagler 1835–52, “Neus allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon” [22 vols.]).
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum : http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.183688

Condition: superb early impression from the first state that is richly inked, crisp and well-printed with Latin letterpress text from verso faintly visible recto (as is appropriate and expected for a print from this early edition). (Note: to appreciate the quality, compare this impression with the one held by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA): https://collections.lacma.org/node/234370). The sheet is in near faultless condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing), trimmed to the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this strong lifetime impression of this magnificently etching—note the almost looming presence of the castle portrayed at the top of the composition and the very beautiful treatment of Civilis’ rearing horse (especially its mane and tail!)—for the total cost of AU$195 (currently US$147.87/EUR121.89/GBP107.33 at the time of posting this) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this near pristine etching from the early 1600s, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


When I was piecing together the information that I had found about this print, I wondered why the Rijksmuseum had added the cautionary note to their description of the etching that its composition was “possibly” after the design of Otto van Veen—Ruben’s teacher. I can now report that I understand the museum’s reticence: according to Eckhard Leuschner’s (2007) in the catalogue raisonné for Tempesta, “none of the preparatory drawings by Van Veen has come to light” (“The Illustrated Bartsch, vol. 35, Commentary, Part 2: Antonio Tempesta”, Abaris Books, p. 103).

Another quandary worrying me was the inconsistency in the date given for the plate's execution: one auction house assigned the date as “1611”, whereas the Rijksmuseum gave the date, “1612.” Leuschner’s TIB’s account, again laid my mind to rest: “Tempesta must have finished the plates some time (perhaps a year) before the publication, since the frontispiece … carries the inscription: ‘Ant. Tempest f. Anno 1611” (ibid). Essentially, the print was published in 1612, but it is likely to have been executed a year or so before the date of publication.







Saturday, 28 April 2018

Johann Lorenz Haid’s mezzotint of a young girl holding a brace of field larks, c.1750, after Giovanni Battista Piazzetta


Johann Lorenz Haid (1702–1750)

“Girl holding a brace of field larks” (descriptive title only), c.1750, after Giovanni Battista Piazzetta (1682–1754), published with privilege (inscribed on plate as “Sacri Romani Imperii Vicaratius”) by Johann Christian Leopold (1699–1755) in Augsburg.

Mezzotint on laid paper, trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 38.6 x 27.5 cm; (image borderline) 37.5 x 27.1 cm
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Ioh. Baptista Piazzetta / Venetus delineavit”; (left of centre) “Lorenz Haid / sculpsit”; (centre) “Cum Gratia et Privilegio Sacri Romani / Imperii Vicariatus.”; (right) “Iohann Christian Leopold excudit / Augustae Vindelicorum”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed impression with many (almost invisible) restorations, trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this spectacular mezzotint (with MANY almost invisible restorations) for the total cost of AU$216 (currently US$163.80/EUR135.02/GBP118.89 at the time of posting this print) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this rare—so rare that the neither the British Museum nor the Rijksmuseum hold a copy—large and luminously glowing old-master print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This print has been sold


Only when the long and labour intensive process of making a mezzotint is understood (see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mezzotint) can the skill and discipline required to execute this tour de force masterwork be fully appreciated. Interestingly, Haid’s teacher was the great mezzotinter, Johann Christian Rugendas (1708–1781), and the leaning of Rugendas towards theatrical lighting (see my earlier post showcasing Rugendas’ prints: http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2017/02/johann-christian-rugendas-mezzotint.html) seems to have been adopted by his pupil. There is a significant difference, nevertheless, in both artists’ approaches to mezzotint. Rugendas tends to outline his subjects whereas Haid relies on careful tonal phrasing to define his forms. For example, note how Haid has very subtly suggested reflected light in the shadow cast by girl’s hat on her forehead. By contrast, Rugendas uses tone in flat patterns that the eye reads as spatial planes.

Regarding the subject of this print, I believe that the portrayed young girl’s name may be “Rosa.” My attribution of this name for the girl is based on a chalk drawing by Giovanni Battista Piazzetta—upon whom this print is after—of a girl with similar facial features and dressed in almost the same clothes; see “A Portrait of Rosa with a Shoulder Stick”, c. 1735, in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art: http://www.clevelandart.org/art/1931.59?f%5B0%5D=field_artist:Giovanni%20Battista%20Piazzetta%20(Italian,%201682-1754)







Friday, 27 April 2018

Theodoor Galle’s engraving, “Amores Naturales” (Natural Love), c. 1600


Theodoor Galle (aka Dirck Galle; Theodor Galle) (1571–1633)

“Amores Naturales” (Natural Love), c. 1600 (before 1612), after Jan van der Straet (aka Johannes Stradanus; Giovanni della Strada; Jan van der Straeten; Giovanni Statenensis; Giovanni Stradano; Joannes Stradanus) (1523 - 1605), illustration from Pliny the Elder's “Natural History,” Book 36, Chapter 4 (but, according to the BM, “not 5 as the inscription claims”), with lettered text by Cornelis Kiliaan (1528–1607), published by Philips Galle (1537–1612) in Antwerp.

Engraving on laid paper trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 23.5 x 17.6 cm
Inscribed on plate within the image at lower edge: (left) “Ioan. Stradanus / delineabat”; (right) “Phls Galle excud. […] Theodor / Galle Sculp.”
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: “AMORES NATURALES / Ex Plinio Lib. 36. Cap. 5. / Varroni docto celebratum ... Arcesilae, venit. / Ludebat / Corn. Kil. Duffl.”
State i (of ii) with the with the address of Philips Galle

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 284.I (Johannes Stradanus) (F W H Hollstein 1993, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450-1700”, Amsterdam);  Baroni Vannucci 1997 776 (Alessandra Baroni Vannucci 1997, “Jan van der Straet, detto Giovanni Stradano, flandrus pictor et inventor”, Milan, Jandi Sapi Editori)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Allegory of Natural Love; winged putti, armed with a whip, stick, bow and arrows and a rope, play with a marble lion, sculpted by Arcesilaus; a drinking horn lies on the ground; beyond, a rural landscape”

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
“Six putti muzzle a lion. Cupid flies towards them with bow and arrow. They prove the power of earthly love.”

Condition: richly inked and well-printed lifetime/first state impression, showing guide-lines for the text, trimmed along the platemark and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The sheet is in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing).

I am selling this stunning, museum-quality lifetime/first state engraving for the total cost of AU$296 (currently US$223.89/EUR185.15/GBP162.45 at the time of posting this) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this richly inked and very beautiful old-master print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


  
When I started researching this print I had the idea that the act of muzzling a lion must have a symbolic meanings that would be easy to uncover. After a quick stint at “Googling” such symbolism, however, I found that this is not really the case.

Mindful that the initial plan was not working, I decided to offer my own and no doubt very flawed thoughts about the meaning behind the winged putti muzzling a stone lion.

My first thought is that the act of muzzling the lion might symbolise the protection of innocent love from the dangers of “the knowledge” about love. What I mean by this cryptic comment is that advice is often given to young lovers to “help” them succeed in love. For example, in the 1993 movie, “A Bronx Tale,” the famous “door test” is outlined by a knowledgeable gangster to a young chap going on his first date. For those unfamiliar with this test I will quote from Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz’s (2009) “The Keeper Test”: “After opening the car door for your date to climb into the passenger seat, Sonny tells the kid, walk around behind the car and peer through the rear windshield to see if she leans over to unlock the driver's side door for you” (http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2009-02-11/news/0902110097_1_first-impressions-door-compatibility). The advice proffered by the ganster is that if the young lady assists the young man then she should be classed as desirable. In short, my first proposition is that meaning symbolised in the print is about “finding” love naturally without being burdened with acquired knowledge.

My second thought is that statues of lions tend to grace the entrance to public buildings with the implicit meaning that they are guardians of the building. If the lion were to be muzzled, the muzzle might represent the control on the beast in its role of a guardian set by tradition. These tradition may vary, such as the Roman concept of “Romanitas”—what Wikipedia defines as “the collection of political and cultural concepts and practices by which the Romans defined themselves.” In the case of a muzzled protective lion of love, I see this as innocent love being allowed to “run its natural course.”







Thursday, 26 April 2018

Simon Frisius’ etching, “Landscape with a Windmill”, 1614, after Matthijs Bril


Simon Frisius (aka Simon Wynhoutsz Frisius; Simon de Vries) (c.1580–1628)

“Landscape with a Windmill”, 1614, after Matthijs Bril (c.1550–83), published by Hendrick Hondius I (1573–1650) in “Topographia Variarum Regionum” (Various topographical views) (1613/14).  

See this publication at the Rijksmuseum: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.453679    

Note: the Rijksmuseum seems to have made an error by describing this print as after the design of Josse van Liere (1500/20–1583) (see RP-P-1885-A-8900). Van Liere’s name is not mentioned in the BM’s description of the print (see 1947,0319.7.19) and only Bril’s name is lettered in the publication details on the plate. Nevertheless, Van Liere did design at least one other print in the series.

Etching on fine paper (presumably laid paper as this is a first state impression, but the chainlines are not evident—perhaps an Oriental paper as was sometimes employed by Rembrandt?) trimmed irregularly at or within the image borderline and lined with a support sheet.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: “'Mathias bril. Inventor. Hhondius excudit.”
Size: (sheet) 10 x 15.5 cm
State i (of ii) before the addition of the plate number signifying the second state (see the second state impression held by the Rijksmuseum: item no. RP-P-1885-A-8900).

Hollstein 1-25 (after Matthijs Bril); New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 149.I (Simon Frisius); Hollstein 64-91 (under Simon Frisius)

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of this print:
“Hilly landscape with a windmill. In the foreground a man with two packaged donkeys.” (http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.113202)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:

The curator of the BM advises that the publication “’Topographia Variarum Regionum’ consists of “a series of twenty-seven etchings by Frisius after Matthijs Bril (New Hollstein 123-150) of small landscapes, which was published in 1614 by Hendrick Hondius. One print after Joos van Lier has been added to the series. The prints are inlaid into double sheets and the series is bound in an album with a gold tooled vellum binding that seems to be seventeenth-century.” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3051221&partId=1&searchText=1947,0319.7.&page=1)

Condition: crisp and well-printed lifetime/first state impression, trimmed irregularly at, or slightly within, the image borderline and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper. The upper-left corner has been restored as has a small section of the cloud, otherwise the sheet is in excellent condition.

I am selling this small but remarkable etching for the total cost of AU$242 (currently US$183.33/EUR150.68/GBP131.36 at the time of posting this) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this seldom seen marvellous old-master print, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.


This print has been sold


Frisius’ technical achievements are well documented, such as his skill in emulating the effect of engraving using only the etched lines in his copy manuals for student calligraphers (see Clifford S Ackley [1981] in “Printmaking in the Age of Rembrandt”, p. 48). From a personal standpoint, however, what I find engaging in looking at Frisius’ landscape prints—and this particular image is a perfect example—is the artist’s skill in creating very subjective personal experiences of landscape rather than objective representations.

For example, I see Frisius’ treatment of the clouds as wildly expressive to the extent that the clouds seem moulded into menacing forms. Note also the artist’s focus on angled landforms, such as the edge mounds of the road leading from the foreground and the silhouette edges of the undulating terrain. To my eyes these angled forms project a feeling of unease as if the angled lines were an analogue of a troubled mind set against, and complemented by, the horizontal and vertical lines of the windmill’s sails.





Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Cornelis Bloemaert’s engraving, “Ixion”, after Abraham van Diepenbeeck, c1637


Cornelis Bloemaert (1603–1692) and Theodor Matham (aka Dirk Matham) (1605/1606–76) (for the background)

“Ixion”, c1635–1638, after Abraham van Diepenbeeck (1596–1675), plate 55 in a series of 60 illustrations published by Michel de Marolles' (1600–81) in “Tableaux du temple des muses tirez du cabinet de feu Mr. Favereau” (Paris, Nicolas Langlois, 1655), p. 435.

Etching and engraving on very fine laid paper with full margins as published.
Lettered on plate below the image borderline: (left) “Ixion.”; (centre) “Illic Junonem tentare Ixionis ausi / Versantur celeri noxia membra rotȃ / Tibullus Eleg. 3 lib. j."; (right corner) “55”
(Google transl. of the two lines of Latin text: “There Juno test Ixion / Engaged guilty limbs wheel.”)
Size: (sheet) 33.6 x 23.1 cm; (plate) 28.2 x 18.4 cm; (image borderline) 23.4 x 17.8 cm

New Hollstein (Dutch & Flemish) 259.II (Theodoor Matham) (Hollstein, F W H, “The New Hollstein: Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts 1450-1700”, Amsterdam, 1993); Hollstein 34-93 (after Diepenbeeck); Hollstein 90-148; Roethlisberger 1993 CB11 (Roethlisberger, Marcel G; Röthlisberger, Marcel G, “Abraham Bloemaert and his sons: Paintings and prints”, 2 vols, Ghent, 1993)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Mythological scene with Ixion in Hell, being tied to a large torture wheel decorated with small mythological scenes, a woman with sagging breast turning the torture instrument at right, two other demonic creatures in lower right; after Abraham van Diepenbeeck; from an album containing sixty engravings trimmed and pasted on sheets; illustration on page 435 from Marolles' "Temple des Muses" (Paris, Nicolas Langlois: 1655).”

Condition: crisp, well-printed impression in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, abrasions or significant stains—there is a faint dot in the margin at lower right corner and a dot of ink below Ixion) with full margins as published.

I am selling this visually arresting image of torture for AU$162 in total (currently US$122.63/EUR100.36/GBP87.84 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this darkly macabre print that invites close scrutiny of every detail, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


I confess that I have never read the love poems of Albius Tibullus (c. 55 BC– 19 BC), but in regard to the event in third book of poems, which this print illustrates, I understand that the attribution to Tibullus is currently doubted according to Natalie Haynes (2012) in her brief but insightful review of the “Elegies by Tibullus” for The Guardian (see https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/mar/25/tibullus-elegies-review). Although my reading of Haynes’ assessment of Tibullus’ “Elegies” did not exactly excite me to read Tibullus’ poetry, I did however discover a new and very useful word to describe poetry that equals a lament upon a door: “paraklausithyra.” What a fab word!

For those unfamiliar with the story involving the mythological figure, Ixion, shown here on the torture wheel, the following outline—“short version”—may be helpful.

Ixion had a troubled mind after behaving badly by pushing his father-in-law into a fire at a party. Ixion wasn’t able to cope with the guilt and went mad as no one would help him atone for his sin. Fortunately, Zeus showed pity and raised Ixion up to the home of the gods in Olympus. Sadly, Ixion developed an unnatural attraction for Zeus wife and made the error of seducing her. Zeus’ revenge is shown here where Ixion with his dropped pants is tied to a fiery wheel that will spin forever.

(My apologies for glossing over many important issues and events in this tale of betrayal and wickedness.)







Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Cornelis Schut’s etching, “Four naked children playing on and around a swing”, c1640


Cornelis Schut (I) (1597–1655)

“Four naked children playing on and around a swing” (descriptive title only) or “Schommelende kinderen” (Rijksmuseum title) (transl. “swinging/rocking children), c1618–1655, published by Cornelis Schut with privilege (provider unknown).

Etching on fine laid paper trimmed to the image borderline and lined with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 9.6 x 12.6 cm
Inscribed on plate below the image borderline: (left) "Corn Schut in. cum privilegio"

Hollstein 160 (F W H Hollstein 1949, “Dutch and Flemish etchings, engravings and woodcuts c.1450–1700”, Amsterdam); Nagler 1858-79 93 (G K Nagler 1858, “Die Monogrammisten”, 5 vols., Munich)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Four naked children, one child sitting on a swing; another one moves the swing; two children sitting on the right”

The Rijksmuseum offers the following description of it:
“With a fountain, a child pushes another child on a swing. There are two more children on the floor, one of whom is asleep.”

Condition: a crisp, richly inked and well-printed impression in excellent condition (with the exception of a few small restored chips to the left edge and a few superficial flecks/handling marks), trimmed to the image borderline (slightly within the borderline on the left) and backed with a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.

I am selling this joyful image executed in the early 1600s of putti at play, for AU$177 in total (currently US$134.68/EUR110.20/GBP96.45 at the time of posting this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this small etching exemplifying the exuberance of the Flemish High-Baroque style, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy. 

This print has been sold


Schut executed numerous etchings of plump naked children playing. In this particular print I have little doubt that the four children depicted are not representative of the antics of 17th century neighbourhood kids. Heaven’s forbid! Instead, they are allegorical putti figures symbolically embodying the spirit of a bacchanal in the usual setting of classical architecture.

Interestingly, there is a companion piece closely related to this print: see http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.173908. In this related composition, the portrayed scene features the same children but with a shift in time to a moment later where the child presently standing on the swing has seated himself and is shown with his feet outstretched and high in the sky. In keeping with the symbolism of the children being active participants in a bacchanal, note that the child on the right in the related composition holds a handful of grapes—a key attribute of Bacchus/Dionysus.