Death from the Sky (aka: The Children of Niobe) by Salvatore Grippi

Death from the Sky (aka: The Children of Niobe) by Salvatore Grippi

Death from the Sky (aka: The Children of Niobe)

Salvatore Grippi

Title

Death from the Sky (aka: The Children of Niobe)

 
Artist
Year
1953  
Technique
lift-ground etching and engraving on shaped and cut-out plate 
Image Size
15 1/8 x 19 5/8" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not editioned; rare 
Annotations
titled, lower left; dated, lower center 
Reference
Moser 47, illustrated page 63 in Atelier 17 
Paper
sturdy cream wove 
State
state II/II 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
GRIPPI106 
Price
$1,500.00 
Description

For the shaped plate intaglio "Death from the Sky" (in earlier proofs titled "The Children of Niobe") Grippi used lift-ground etching and engraving to create this image, composed of lines and toneal areas of gray and black. Human figures intermingle with Greek deities Artemis and Apollo in a chaotic whirl of violence and death. The figures are created by use of short, engraved lines and do not try to define one from another, adding to the sense of confusion and drama.

Grippi was another printmaker who experimented with shaped plates while working at Atelier 17 in New York. This is the final proof from a series of states of this image. Grippi cut the edges of the plate and shapes from the center of the composition, which print as white. The result is a defining of the action and a defining of Apollo and Artemis as the protaganists.

According to Homer’s Iliad, Niobe, the wife of King Amphion of Thebes, had six sons and six daughters and boasted of her progenitive superiority to the Titan Leto, who had only two children, the twin deities Apollo and Artemis. As punishment for her pride, Apollo killed all Niobe’s sons, and Artemis killed all but one of her daughters.