The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of February 20, 2024

Althaea Putting the Fatal Log on the Fire

Althaea Putting the Fatal Log on the Fire

1712
(French, 1673–1733)
Sheet: 29.4 x 27.5 cm (11 9/16 x 10 13/16 in.)
Location: not on view

Description

This drawing depicts a scene from the life of Meleager, a figure from Greek mythology who was prophesied to die when a log in the fireplace at the time of his birth completely burned. At that time, Meleager’s mother, Althaea, put out the log and stowed it away for safekeeping. Years later, in the scene depicted here, Althaea exacts revenge on Meleager for killing her brothers in a dispute. Two Furies, goddesses of vengeance, compel the anguished mother to punish her murderous son by burning the fatal log. Picart made this drawing while overseeing the reproduction of Le Brun’s suite of tapestries narrating tales of Meleager into prints. Picart himself made drawings from the tapestries, of which this sheet is an example. The drawings were then used as guides by printmakers Picart hired to re-create the images as engravings.
  • Foster, Carter E., Sylvain Bellenger, and Patrick Shaw Cable. French Master Drawings from the Collection of Muriel Butkin. [Cleveland, Ohio]: Cleveland Museum of Art, 2001. Referenced: cat. no. 4, p. 18-19, Reproduced: p. 19
  • French Master Drawings from the Collection of Muriel Butkin. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (August 26-October 28, 2001); Dahesh Museum of Art (February 19-May 18, 2002).
    Elegance and Intrigue: French Society in 18th-century Prints and Drawings. The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH (organizer) (July 16-November 6, 2016).
  • {{cite web|title=Althaea Putting the Fatal Log on the Fire|url=false|author=Bernard Picart|year=1712|access-date=20 February 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

Source URL:

https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2008.360