Oct 11, 2006

Mucius Scaevola

Mucius Scaevola


Andrea Andreani

(Italian, about 1558–1610)

after Balthasar Peruzzi

(Italian, 1481–1536)

Chiaroscuro woodcut

Gift of Ralph King 1925.47

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XII.98.7



This chiaroscuro woodcut in two blocks of greenish gray and black was printed after a drawing by Baldassarre Peruzzi. It displays Gaius Mucius Cordus, a youth who saved Rome from the siege ordered by the Etruscan king Lars Porsena in c. 509 BC. The legendary hero was caught while sneaking into the Etruscan camp in an attempt to assassinate Porsena. In this print, Mucius is thrusting his hand into a fire lit for sacrifice to demonstrate his bravery and endurance to torture. Without giving any sign of pain, Mucius earned for himself the nickname "Scaevola" (left-handed), and was freed by his enemy.

See also
PR - Chiaroscuro
Type of artwork: 
Credit line: 
Gift of Ralph King

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