Jan 4, 2016
Oct 15, 2009

The Death of Procris

The Death of Procris

c. 1540

Giorgio Ghisi

(Italian, 1520–1582)

after Giulio Romano

(Italian, 1492/99–1546)


Support: Laid paper(discolored to light gray)

Sheet: 40.4 x 57.5 cm (15 7/8 x 22 5/8 in.); Platemark: 39.7 x 57.2 cm (15 5/8 x 22 1/2 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1985.171

Catalogue raisonné: Lewis&Boorsch 5

State: before i/x



In the complicated tale of Procris and Cephalus, told by the poet Ovid (43 BC–AD 17), jealousy tragically thwarts their true love and fidelity. Fearing that Cephalus loves a nymph, Procris spies on her husband while he is hunting. When Cephalus hears Procris rustling in the woods, he mistakes her for game and throws his magical spear that never misses its mark. In this print, the chorus of expressive satyrs and nymphs mourning her death highlights the heartbreaking drama of this love story. Romano’s intricate composition also includes Aurora, the goddess of dawn, in her chariot, and distant buildings that refer to the couple’s home in Athens.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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