Pluto abducted Proserpine while she was gathering flowers in a glade in Sicily and carried her off to the land of the dead to be his wife. Jupiter interceded to have her set free but she was forced to spend part of each year in the land of the dead. While she is absent from the world, in autumn and winter, vegetation dies; in spring and summer, when she is free to live on the earth, nature regenerates and flourishes. In this print she perches weightlessly on a rock with her body impossibly twisted into a graceful serpentine curve. Her habitat is a landscape of natural abundance befitting the goddess of fertility.
Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500–1900, 2014
chiaroscuro woodcut, line block in black and tone blocks in olive green and tan
ii of 2 states
34.7 x 26.2 cm image (oval); 39.4 x 29.0 cm sheet (irreg.)
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Not on display
Shown in 3 exhibitions
Piety and Paganism, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 13 Jul 1991–29 Sep 1991
Old Europe: Prints & drawings from the collection 1500-1800, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 03 Jun 2006–06 Aug 2006
European prints and drawings 1500-1900, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Aug 2014–02 Nov 2014
Referenced in 3 publications
Nicolas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, 'Introduction', pp 3-5, Sydney, 1991, p 4, col illus cover, p 15.
Renée Free, The Art Gallery of New South Wales collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', pp 108-172, Sydney, 1994, col illus p 113.
Peter Raissis, Prints & drawings Europe 1500-1900, Sydney, 2014, col illus p 43.