mid 16th century
(Italian, c. 1510–after 1576)
Support: Cream(1) laid paper
Sheet: 16.9 x 22.9 cm (6 5/8 x 9 in.); Platemark: 15.9 x 21.9 cm (6 1/4 x 8 5/8 in.)
Mr. and Mrs. Charles G. Prasse Collection 1968.256
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XV.136.89 ; Massari 97
In Greek mythology Silenus was an old, drunken satyr (half-man, half-goat), who visited King Midas and was graciously received. In gratitude for Midas's generous hospitality, Dionysus, the god of wine and former pupil of Silenus, granted the king one wish. Midas asked for the power to turn everything that he touched into gold. However, he soon regretted his choice, for he was unable to eat food or drink water, as they also turned to gold. Finally, Dionysus released him from the enchantment.
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