Adam (attr.) Elsheimer ElsheimerGermany 1578-1610
The Mocking of Ceres 25.0090
The idea for the scene is taken from one of Elsheimer's favorite classical writers, Ovid, whose compilation of myths, Metamorphoses, was listed among the artist's effects at his death. Ovid's anthology, in which mythological events and the forces of nature collide, was the perfect vehicle for Elsheimer's lyrical imagination and sense of drama and mystery. He made several drawings and etchings of Ceres' search for her daughter, Proserpine, including this scene at the door of the house of Metaneira, in which Ceres is mocked by the woman's son. Although this painting was purchased in Munich in 1907 as an Elsheimer, the attribution is questionable as it bears only passing resemblance to the engraving after this painting by a Dutch friend of Elsheimer's, Count Hendrick Goudt. Goudt engraved several of Elsheimer's small ouevre, thereby making the German master's work known to the general public. His paintings exerted considerable influence upon Rubens, Rembrandt, and the 17th century French master, Claude Lorraine.
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