Monogrammist MF after Melchior Meier (fl. 1572-1582)

[Antique print, etching] The Judgment of Midas (Het oordeel van Midas), published ca. 1620.

Apollo and Marsyas and the Judgement of Midas.

According to Ovid, Apollo engaged in two musical competitions. When Marsyas boasted that his flute playing could rival the music of Apollo, the god proved his superiority and then punished Marsyas by flaying him alive. The Arcadian god Pan emerged unscathed from his own competition with Apollo, although King Midas, present at the contest, found his ears transformed into long, shaggy grey ones for his foolishness in preferring Pan’s rustic notes to Apollo’s ethereal harmonies.

Reverse copy after Melchior Meier (Hollstein 7). Meier has cleverly combined the two stories: as Midas points to the woodland god, Apollo not only grants the king ass’s ears but mocks him with the skin of Marsyas, whose flayed body is displayed at right (left in the original). Apollo at the centre, holding a flaying knife in his left hand and the skin of Marsyas in his right hand; the flayed Marsyas hanging from a tree at right; Midas with the ears of an ass kneeling at left; satyrs and soldiers in the background. The musical instrument of Apollo, a lira da braccio, rests at his feet.

Monogrammed and dated on the top right on a tablet: ‘1536 / MF’. The original print by Meier was published in 1581. Date of this print ca 1620.

On verso scribblings in pencil and an inky fingerprint.

Another impression is held by the British Museum (inv. 1919,0616.28).

Etching on laid paper, trimmed to plate mark: total 229 x 312 mm; very bright impression, possibly restored or bleached paper. Nagler 1802.

Incl. BTW  1815,00

Excl. BTW  1.500,00

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