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Old Masters, Caravaggio, Bronze Bull, Antique Print, Rome, c. 1610 (Sold)

Polidoro da Caravaggio (c. 1497-c.1543) (after)
Marco Paluzzi (engraver)
Perillus inuentor mandante Phalaride primus expertus est
Polidorus de Carauagio pinxit gio Marco paluzzi le stampa in piazza nauona

Rome, c. 1600-1610
Copperplate engraving
11 x 9.75 inches, image
11.5 x 10.5 inches, overall

This item is sold. It has been placed here in our online archives as a service for researchers and collectors.

Phalaris ordering Perillus to be roasted inside the bronze bull; to right, the tyrant Phalaris seated on his throne in profile to left and crowned with laurel, pointing at Perillus, who is being pushed into the side of the bronze bull, standing to left facing front, with various other figures behind. This is an illustration from Chapter 34 of Pliny’s Tales.  The title roughly translates as “distinguished inventor ordered by Phalaride is first put to the test.”

The original passage from Pliny, in Latin, reads as follows: “Perillum nemo laudet saeviorem Phalaride tyranno, cui taurum fecit mugitus inclusi hominis pollicitus igni subdito et primus expertus cruciatum eum iustiore saevitia. huc a simulacris deorum hominumque devocaverat humanissimam artem. ideo tot conditores eius laboraverant, ut ex ea tormenta fierent!”

The inscription indicates it was engraved after a painting by the Italian artist Polidoro de Caravaggio, by Marco Paluzzi, printer, in the Piazza Navona, Rome.

Additional information


17th Century