Rhea Sylvia (Romulus and Remus), c. 1530


Gift of Herschel V. Jones, 1925expand_more  P.10,997

Not on Viewexpand_more

In Roman mythology Rhea Sylvia was the mother of Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome. She had been one of the Vestal Virgins, who were required to preserve their chastity. When she became pregnant (she said by the god Mars), her evil brother Amulius had her buried alive, the punishment given to Vestals who violated their obligation. Her twin boys were cast into the river Tiber but were rescued and raised by a shepherd, and grew up to found their own great city.

Dürer has been the strongest influence in Aldegrever's early work, but about 1530 he adopted the Mannerist style. The traditional mythological theme of Rhea Sylvia allowed Aldegrever the opportunity to depict muscular nudes in twisted, Mannerist poses, modeled with emphatic contrasts of light and shadow. He continued to sign his works with the AG monogram, clearly inspired by Dürer's famous AD monogram.

Rhea Sylvia (Romulus and Remus)
Artist Life
1502–after 1555/61
Accession Number
Catalogue Raisonne
B.66, 386
Curator Approved

This record has been reviewed by our curatorial staff but may be incomplete. These records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

Does something look wrong with this image? Let us know

Zoom in on the left to the detail you'd like to save. Click 'Save detail' and wait until the image updates. Right click the image to 'save image as' or copy link, or click the image to open in a new tab.