Demogorgon in the Cave of Eternity, c. 1588

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Once known as the Magician, the subject of this woodcut has been identified as the Cave of Eternity. The central figure depicts Demogorgon or Chaos, the father of all gods, who transforms the unformed universe into the world as we know it. To the left is a snake biting its tail, symbolizing continuity or eternity. To the right is a sphere containing Diane of Ephesus, who sprays plants and animals into the air, symbolizing nature.

This woodcut was printed from three separate blocks, one line block in black ink and two tone blocks in color to form a type of color woodcut known as a chiaroscuro woodcut. Taken from the Italian, the term chiaroscuro refers to the strong contrasts of lighter and darker values achieved through the printing of multiple line and tone blocks.

Details
Title
Demogorgon in the Cave of Eternity
Artist Life
1558–1617
Role
Artist
Accession Number
P.71.160
Provenance
(P. & D. Colnaghi and Co., Ltd., London & New York); sold to MIA, 1971.
Catalogue Raisonne
Str.418 os; Holl.374 os; B.238
Curator Approved

This record is from historic documentation and may not have been reviewed by a curator, so may be inaccurate or incomplete. Our records are frequently revised and enhanced. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email collectionsdata@artsmia.org.

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