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(Italian, 15th century)
Dudley P. Allen Fund 1924.432.44
Catalogue raisonné: Hind E.I. 44a
This engraving is part of the Tarocchi group marked with the letter “A”, and named Firmaments of the Universe. This series comprises the seven planets from the classical astronomy (Moon, Mercury, Venus, Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn) and the three celestial spheres that separate them from the Supreme Entity (Prima Causa) from which everything was originated.
Here, Sol (Sun) is personified as a male figure, in profile, steering a chariot drawn by four horses in the sky, and above an imaginary landscape. In his right hand holds up a sun-face, whilst he looks towards a scorpion. Sun appears as Helios, the Greek God of Sun, and father of Phaeton. The latter secretly mounted Helios’ chariot, became frightened once high over the earth, and consequently fell from the sky down into the river Eridanos, as it is shown in this print.
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