barber institute of fine arts
university of birmingham


Hendrik Goudt (1585-1630), after Adam Elsheimer (1578-1610)

The Mocking of Ceres

Rome, 1610

Etching with engraving

319 x 247 mm

 

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.

Purchased 1955 (No.55.19)

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