Nov 20, 2007

Jason and the Dragon

Jason and the Dragon

c. 1663

Salvator Rosa

(Italian, 1615–1673)


Sheet: 39.1 x 23.7 cm (15 3/8 x 9 5/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Zinser 1966.730

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XX.275.18 ; Wallance 118



Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece required him to bypass a fearsome dragon, which he was able to do with a sleeping potion given to him by the witch Medea. Rosa selected classical narratives to prove he was a great and learned painter of histories, and he showcased the novelty of being among the first 16th- or 17th-century artists to portray this particular story. Rosa turned the ancient epic into a moody struggle by transmitting the mystery and magic of his earlier witchcraft imagery. Utilizing the energetic and spontaneous qualities of his draftsmanship, the violence of Jason's feat is emphasized by a claustrophobic and savage environment of crags and "blasted" trees that frames the dynamic diagonals of the hero and recoiling dragon.

See also
PR - Etching
Type of artwork: 

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.