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

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

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

Salvatore Grippi

Title

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

 
Artist
Year
1953  
Technique
lift-ground etching and engraving 
Image Size
15 1/2 x 20 5/16" platemark 
Signature
pencil, lower right 
Edition Size
not editioned, proofs only 
Annotations
titled, lower left; dated, lower center 
Reference
 
Paper
sturdy cream wove 
State
state I/II 
Publisher
artist 
Inventory ID
GRIPPI107 
Price
$1,500.00 
Description

For the shaped intaglio titled "Children of Niobe" Grippi used lift-ground etching and engraving to create this image, composed of lines and tones of gray and black with an irregular border. Human figures intermingle with the 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.

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.

Grippi was one of a number of artists who experimented with shaped plates while working at Atelier 17 in New York. This is a proof from a series of states of this image. In this state he stopped out irregular spaces in the border of the plate, which would be cut out of the plate in later proofs.