The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of June 15, 2024

The Submersion of Pharaoh's Army in the Red Sea

The Submersion of Pharaoh's Army in the Red Sea

1514–15, printed 1549
(Italian, c. 1488–1576)
(Italian, 1503–1603)
Unframed: 41.6 x 55.3 cm (16 3/8 x 21 3/4 in.)
Catalogue raisonné: Mauroner 24
Location: not on view


To make this monumental woodcut—considered one of the most ambitious prints of the Renaissance—Titian probably drew directly on the wooden blocks, after which a skilled cutter completed the blocks. The size rivals that of a painting, and the composition would have hung on a wall. Titian’s bold vision presents nature as a vehicle of God’s mercy and wrath. Moses, at right, having parted the seas for the Israelites to pass, commands them to close over the Egyptian forces (Exodus 14:21–31). Titian propelled the narrative with remarkable unity, dedicating entire blocks to the turbulent sea and rolling clouds that culminate in a magnificent cliff and Renaissance city. Some have interpreted the scene as an allegory of Venice’s troubles with the League of Cambrai, a military alliance that threatened the island city.
  • Against the Grain: Woodcuts from the Collection. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 17-November 9, 2003).
  • {{cite web|title=The Submersion of Pharaoh's Army in the Red Sea|url=false|author=Titian, Domenico dalle Greche|year=1514–15, printed 1549|access-date=15 June 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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