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Old Masters, Allegory, Opera Costumes, Minotaur, Monsters, Messelreuter, Antique Prints, 1723

Johann Messelreuter (author)
Lyacon, Konig in Arcadia [Lycaon, King in Arcadia], Plate 123
Minotaurus [Minotaur], Plate 144
Typhoeus Ein Grosser Riß [Typhon, A Great Gash], Plate 55
from Neu-eröffneter Masquen-Saal, oder: Der verkleideten heydnischen Götter: Göttinnen und vergötterter
[Newly Opened Hall of Masks, or, Costumed Pagan Gods, Goddesses and Heroes]
Gedruckt bey Johann Lobern, Brandenburg: 1723
Hand-colored engravings
12 x 7.25 inches, ruled border
13.25 x 8 inches, overall
Minatour:  $800
Lycaon: $550
Typhon: $550

Three theatrical costume designs for beasts and monsters from Greek mythology. They are part of a series of 205 copper engravings published in Germany in 1723. They each show a solitary figure against a minimal background, with title and brief description in German in the lower margin explaining the character’s attributes. Lycaon, a king of Arcadia, is depicted, as the caption explains, after having been punished by Zeus by being turned into a wolf. Minotaur, an upright bull with human face and hands, is shown in what the caption describes as the “mad garden” built by Daedalus, alluding to the labyrinth where according to Ancient Greek myth he resided until he was eventually killed by the Athenian hero Theseus. Typhon, half man, half serpent, is described in the caption as a gigantic and powerful monster from whom the gods fled in terror to Egypt, where out of fear they transformed themselves into beasts; Typhon was finally subdued by thunderbolts thrown by Zeus, and buried beneath Mt. Etna.

Product description continues below.


Full title and translation: Neu-eröffneter Masquen-Saal, oder: Der verkleideten heydnischen Götter: Göttinnen und vergötterter Helden theatralischer Tempel, darinnen in mehr als 200. Kupfer-Stichen vorgestellt wird, wie solche Gottheiten der Alten, bey jetziger Zeit in Opern, Comœdien, Aufzügen und Masqueraden …

[Newly opened Hall of Masks, or: Costumed pagan gods, goddesses and heroes of the theatrical temple, presented in more than 200 copper engravings, like such deities of the ancients, at present time in operas, comedies, entr’actes and masquerades …]

Condition: Generally very good, recently professionally cleaned and deacidified with only minor remaining toning, wear, handling.

Additional information


20th Century