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The Fall of Phaeton, after Michelangelo

ca. 1545
16th century
49.4 cm x 33.3 cm (19 7/16 in. x 13 1/8 in.)

Nicolas Beatrizet (Thionville or Lunéville, France, 1507 or 1515 - circa 1565, Rome) Primary

Object Type: print
Artist Nationality: Europe, French
Medium and Support: Engraving
Credit Line: Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin, Jack S. Blanton Curatorial Endowment Fund and through the generosity of Faith and Dewayne Perry, 2009
Accession Number: 2009.25

Michelangelo created three highly finished drawings of mythological subjects as gifts for Tommaso de’ Cavalieri, a young Roman nobleman with whom he had fallen in love. Preserved in the English royal collection at Windsor Castle, The Fall of Phaeton shows Jupiter striking down Apollo’s son, who had dared take the reins of the his father’s chariot, the sun, but was unable to control it. His sisters mourn below. Famed for their inventiveness and craft, these “presentation drawings” were each engraved by Beatrizet. This impression is so brilliant that it conveys not just the composition but the sculptural forms and lustrous surface of the drawing.

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