Pietro Testa (1612-1650). After - The Sacrifice of Iphigenia

Pietro Testa (1612-1650). After - The Sacrifice of Iphigenia
Etching - Not signed - ca. 1650

The Mycenaean king Agamemnon was chosen, together with his brother Menelaus—Helen's aggrieved husband—to lead the Greeks in the war against Troy, but unfavorable winds prevented the ships from setting sail. Consulting a seer, the soldiers learned that Agamemnon had offended Diana by killing a doe sacred to the goddess, who could be appeased only through the sacrifice of his daughter Iphigenia. The girl was lured from home with a false promise of marriage to Achilles, depicted at right, who was angered that his name had been used to deceive her and offered to fight on her behalf. Although the maiden instead heroically consented to the sacrifice, the goddess took pity on her: shrouding the site, Diana substituted a deer and carried off Iphigenia.
The copper plate for the print is in the Calcografia Nazionale in Rome (inv.989). A painting of the same subject by Testa (with minor differences) is in the Galleria Spada in Rome (inv. 312).

Pietro Testa (1611–1650) was an Italian High Baroque artist active in Rome. He is best known as a printmaker and draftsman.

This is a rare copy in reverse after Testa's print attributed to the Flemish printmaker Arnold van Westerhout (1680-1725).
Same as the copy in Metropolitan Museum: 51.501.4247

Condition: Trimmed to the borderline, just within the platemark. A very small brown spot near Diana's shoulder. Otherwise a fine and balanced impression of the only known state.

Reference: Bartsch.XX.221.23.

Lot details
Pietro Testa (1612-1650). After
Title of artwork
The Sacrifice of Iphigenia
ca. 1650
Not signed
In good condition
Sold with frame
Image size
13.2×17.3 cm
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