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Title

Democritus in meditation

1662


Artist

Salvator Rosa

Italy

1615 - 1673


About

Democritus, a pre-Socratic philosopher born around 460 BC, shunned society and declined public honours in order to pursue undisturbed his studies and, in Rosa's interpretation, melancholy speculations. Rosa altered the traditional image of Democritus as the laughing philosopher, here showing him overwhelmed with grief and despair in the face of the vanity and futility of all things. The inscription proclaims: 'Democritus, the mocker of all things is here stopped by the ending of all things'.


Details


Date

1662


Media category

Print


Materials used

etching and drypoint


Edition

2/2


Dimensions

46.3 x 27.7 cm platemark; 46.6 x 27.9 cm sheet (irreg.)


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of Margaret Delmer 1985


Location

Not on display


Accession number

247.1985


Artist information

Salvator Rosa

Works in the collection

12


Shown in 4 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 2 publications

Bibliography


Nicolas Draffin, Piety and Paganism, 'Introduction', pg. 3-5, Sydney, 1991, 4, 10. no catalogue numbers

Mantegna to Piranesi - Italian old master prints from the collection of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 1998, 5, 8. no catalogue numbers