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ID number:  BIRBI-55.19
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Goudt, Hendrik (1585-1630); after Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610)
Title / Object name:  The Mocking of Ceres
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Rome
Culture:  Dutch
Date made:  1610
Materials:  Etching with engraving
Measurements:  Paper: 319 x 247 mm; mount: 557 x 405 mm
Provenance:  Purchased from Messrs. Craddock & Barbard, November 1955

An old woman protects a boy as he mocks Ceres, the goddess of nature, in this episode from Ovid’s Metamorphoses. Ceres pauses to drink while searching for her daughter who has been abducted by Pluto, god of the underworld. The juxtaposition of the wrinkled woman and youthful boy contrasts the wisdom of age and youthful folly: Ceres will ultimately punish the boy by turning him into a lizard. Goudt captures the tension of the moment through his bold use of chiaroscuro, the brooding darkness contrasting with the glare of the torches lit by Ceres in Mount Etna.

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