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19th C. French Engraving - Nereides Sarcophagus

Engraving by Felix Massard (French, 1773-?) after Harriette as noted below the image. "Choer De Nereides, Sarcophage", ca. early 19th century CE. A hand-colored Neoclassical engraving of a sarcophagus relief depicting the Nereides (Nereids) - beautiful young maidens - accompanied by Fauns, Cupides, and various animals - ram, bull, and horse - perhaps modeled on a 3rd century CE sarcophagus from Pozzuoli, Naples now in the Naples Archaeological Museum. The Nereides were 50 daughters of Nereus - the old man of the sea. These nymphs were goddesses of the sea believed to protect fisherman and sailors, at the ready to assist any seamen in peril. Each one symbolized an aspect of the sea - sea foam, waves, salty brine, sand, currents, shells, and rocks in addition to seafaring skills. Size: plate measures 16.5" W x 11.75" H (41.9 cm x 29.8 cm); sheet measures 23.25" W x 17.375" H (59.1 cm x 44.1 cm)

The Nereides (Nereids) were fifty sea-nymph daughters of Nereus, the old man of the sea, and lived with their father at the bottom of the Aegean in a silvery grotto. They were goddesses of the sea's rich bounty and protectors of sailors and fishermen, coming to the aid of those in distress.

Condition: Waviness and creases to paper as shown. Some stains/foxing to margin. Losses and tears to edges as shown.

Provenance: private Lucille Lucas collection, Crested Butte, Colorado, USA

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