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Salamacis and Hermaphroditus

Herman van Swanevelt, Dutch, c. 1600 - 1655

Geography:
Made in Rome, Italy, Europe

Date:
c. 1635-1641

Medium:
Etching with plate tone

Dimensions:
Plate: 6 1/8 x 8 1/4 inches (15.6 x 21 cm) Sheet: 6 1/4 x 8 3/8 inches (15.8 x 21.2 cm)

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1985-52-1260

Credit Line:
The Muriel and Philip Berman Gift, acquired from the John S. Phillips bequest of 1876 to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with funds contributed by Muriel and Philip Berman, gifts (by exchange) of Lisa Norris Elkins, Bryant W. Langston, Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, with additional funds contributed by John Howard McFadden, Jr., Thomas Skelton Harrison, and the Philip H. and A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1985

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Label:
In classical mythology, the water nymph Salamacis fell in love with the beautiful god Hermaphroditus, who did not reciprocate her feelings. One day, while watching him bathe in a forest pool, she was unable to restrain her passion and dove into the water with him. As Salamacis clung to Hermaphroditus, her wish to never be separated from him was granted by the gods, and their two bodies became one, sharing the attributes of both sexes. In this etching, Swanevelt depicts the moment when Salamacis, hidden in a grove of trees, spies upon Hermaphroditus in the pool.

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