Giulio Carpioni

The Four Elements

1640
Recognized as one of the leading painters in Venice, Carpioni also stands as one of the most important etchers of the Venetian school working in the mid-seventeenth century. The present print is part of the series The Four Elements showing Iris poised upon a rainbow (Air), Cybele surrounded by fruits and wildlife (Earth), and Venus at Vulcan’s forge (Fire). The element of Water is here incarnated by the female allegorical figure of a naiad, a type of nymph, shown holding an urn with water pouring from it. Behind her a group of Tritons (mermen) and cherubs are seen cavorting in the water.
Title
The Four Elements
Date
1640
Medium
Print
Materials
4 etchings on ivory laid paper
Dimensions
10.7 x 15.8 cm on each (approx.)
Nationality
Italian
Credit line
Gift of Philip R.L. Somerville, Toronto, 2010
Accession number
43279.1-4