Wenceslaus Hollar (After), Adam Elsheimer (After)


Juno by Wenceslaus Hollar, Adam Elsheimer

Artwork Detail

Juno (the Greek Hera) was the chief goddess of Olympus, both the sister and wife of Jupiter (Zeus). She was worshipped as the protectress of women, watching over marriage and childbirth in particular. Her active role in mythology surrounds various acts of revenge against the hapless lovers who succumbed to her faithless husband’s enticements, even if innocent of his true identity.Juno sits on a throne, and figures in the background are in the process of construction, one worker carrying a heay piece of marble on a primitive wheelbarrow.

Although Walter Auburn acquired this print as an original Hollar, we now know that it is a good copy after Hollar's etching, which itself is taken for a lost painting that belonged to the famous Arundel collection in England in the 17th century.

Pennington's description of the goddess Juno has her leaning to the left with her sceptre in her right hand, but in Auckland's print she leans in the opposite direction. Artists often copied from works not only so that they could study the composition but also to have a record of a famous artist's work. Inevitably, unless they copied directly from the back of a print, the new impression would be in reverse.

In the original print there is an inscription below which says that Adam Elsheimer painted the original work, and that Wenceslas Hollar made his print according to the original in the Arundel Collection, in 1646.

On Auckland's print the inscription below on the left says that A Elsheimer painted the work (AElsheimer pinxit) and that Hollar made the etching (W Hollar fec aqua forti) but there is no inscription on the right hand side to say who has made the copy.

Wenceslaus Hollar, Adam Elsheimer
Production date
92 x 167 mm
Credit line
Mackelvie Trust Collection, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, bequest of Dr Walter Auburn, 1982
Accession no
Other ID
269 (after) Pennington Catalogue Raisonné
No known copyright restrictions
International Art
Display status
Not on display

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