Bartsch 56; Lewis/Lewis/Boorsch 41 second (final) state
very fine impression; trimmed on or just within the platemark; in excellent condition.
Here Ghisi recreates a figure seen in bas-relief in the Sala degli Stucchi of the Palazzo del Te in Mantua, designed by Giulio Romano. Ghisi’s engraving of The Three Fates of 1558 (Lewis/Lewis/Boorsch 25) was based on the same source.
As Suzanne Boorsch observes, the landscape is one of Ghisi’s most complex and ambitious. The image is framed by two trees in the foreground, while the middle ground depicts oarsmen apparently navigating choppy waters, with ruins and a townscape overloooked by a domed structure a little behind them. Craggy mountains dominate the horizon. Just to the right of the town the artist has added what appears to be an explosion; its significance remains unclear.
Boorsch further notes that Ghisi may well have worked directly from a drawing by Giulio Romano for the stucco in the Palazzo del Te (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Alençon) since the figure of Hercules in the drawing corresponds in size to the one in the engraving.