The Satyr Family
Albrecht Dürer, German, 1471 - 1528
As the models provided by classical sculpture were absorbed by artists in northern Europe, the myths of ancient Rome became increasingly popular as subjects. Within a year of his Adam and Eve, Dürer engraved this antique family composed of a woodland nymph and her satyr mate, part man, part goat. Debauched servants of Bacchus, the god of wine, satyrs symbolized man's animal passions. Though they are usually shown chasing nymphs with wild abandon, Dürer has chosen a moment of tranquil domesticity.