Object Image

Jupiter and Io (recto); sketch of a male figure stabbing himself in the chest (verso)

Portraying a story from Ovid’s Metamorphoses, this sheet depicts Jupiter and the beautiful young Io. After enveloping Io in a dark cloud, Jupiter seduced her and, to conceal her identity from his wife Juno, transformed Io into a heifer (portrayed at lower left). The sculpturesque figures reveal the inspiration of Michelangelo. The drawing has been squared in red chalk, a technique used to transfer the design to another surface -- although its intended destination is unknown. Francesco Salviati studied in Florence and worked in Rome and various Northern Italian cities as a painter (especially of frescoes), a designer for tapestries, goldsmith’s work, prints, and book illustrations.

Credit: Robe...

Mid-16th century
Pen and brown ink, brush and brown wash, over traces of black chalk; squared in red chalk (recto); pen and gray ink (verso)
23.6 x 17.9cm
Image and text © Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2019

Where you'll find this

The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Permanent collection