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Antique Greek Print

Sandtique Rare Prints

Zanetti Greek Statues, SATYRS - FRIENDS OF PAN, Antique Engraving, 1743

$ 249.00


Zanetti's Greek Statues -1743- SATYRS - FRIENDS OF PAN




This 268 year old copperplate print was rescued from the book "DELLE ANTICHE STATUE GRECHE E ROMANE" by Anton Zanetti.  It was published and printed in Venice in 1743.

Anton Maria Zanetti- the elder (1679– 1767), A Venetian draughtsman, printmaker, connoisseur, and collector, was an important link between the cultural life of Venice and other European cities. His Venetian house became a lively meeting place for foreign collectors and dealers, and he befriended and patronized Venetian artists, among them Sebastiano and Marco Ricci , and Gaetano. He also travelled extensively to Paris, London and other European cities. In the late 1720s he published a series of prints, mainly after these drawings, in which he revived the technique of chiaroscuro woodcuts in three or four colors. His taste embraced both classical and Baroque; he made lively engravings after drawings by Castiglione , while his Delle Antiche Statue Greche e Romane (begun in 1725) was important to Venetian neoclassicism. The son of his cousin, Antonio Maria the younger (1706 –1778), was a distinguished critic and is said to have helped him with the statue copperplates.

The actual engravings were done by a group of well known 18th century engravers including Giovanni Antonio Faldoni (1690-1770). Faldoni was one of the most influential engravers of the 18th century. Other engravers that worked on the statue copperplates were Giovanni Cattini, Carlo Gregori and G. Patrini.

These copperplate prints were based on a collection of classical statues owned by the Republic of Venice in the palace of St. Mark, and other public places in Venice.  Several of the statues are in the ante chamber in the library of san Marco in Venice. The statues were donated to the city by Cardinal Domenico Grimani in the 16th century.

The full folio copper engraving is approx. 10 1/2" x 15" (plate mark) on a linen rag paper page 17 1/2" x 23". It is in very good and clean state with natural age toning. It has a blank back. This is a guaranteed genuine antique print. A group of these would look great in an Architect's office or in a study.

This book is rare and I could not find one for sale on the Internet. I did find a report that one sold in 2009 at auction for about $3,600.

The print that is being offered is of 



In Greek mythology, satyrs are a troop of male companions of Pan and Dionysus — "satyresses" were a late invention of poets — that roamed the woods and mountains. In myths they are often associated with pipe-playing.

The satyrs' chief was Silenus, a minor deity associated (like Hermes and Priapus) with fertility. These characters can be found in the only complete remaining satyr play, Cyclops, by Euripides, and the fragments of Sophocles' The Tracking Satyrs (Ichneutae). The satyr play was a short, lighthearted tailpiece performed after each trilogy of tragedies in Athenian festivals honoring Dionysus. There is not enough evidence to determine whether the satyr play regularly drew on the same myths as those dramatized in the tragedies that preceded. The groundbreaking tragic playwright Aeschylus is said to have been especially loved for his satyr plays, but none of them have survived.

Attic painted vases depict mature satyrs as being strongly built with flat noses, large pointed ears, long curly hair, and full beards, with wreaths of vine or ivy circling their balding heads. Satyrs often carry the thyrsus: the rod of Dionysus tipped with a pine cone.

Satyrs acquired their goat-like aspect through later Roman, conflation with Faunus, a carefree Italic nature spirit of similar characteristics and identified with the Greek god Pan. Hence satyrs are most commonly described in Latin literature as having the upper half of a man and the lower half of a goat, with a goat's tail in place of the Greek tradition of horse-tailed satyrs; therefore, satyrs became nearly identical with fauns. Mature satyrs are often depicted in Roman art with goat's horns, while juveniles are often shown with bony nubs on their foreheads.

Satyrs are described as roguish but faint-hearted folk — subversive and dangerous, yet shy and cowardly. As Dionysiac creatures they are lovers of wine and women, and they are ready for every physical pleasure. They roam to the music of pipes (auloi), cymbals, castanets, and bagpipes, and they love to dance with the nymphs (with whom they are obsessed, and whom they often pursue), and have a special form of dance called sikinnis. Because of their love of wine, they are often represented holding wine cups, and they appear often in the decorations on wine cups.




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