The Fall of Phaeton

The Fall of Phaeton

c. 1545

Nicolas Beatrizet

(French, 1515-after 1565)

after Michelangelo Buonarroti

(Italian, 1475-1564)


Support: Blued white laid paper

Sheet: 41.9 x 29 cm (16 1/2 x 11 7/16 in.)

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Richard H. Zinser 1965.458

Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch 38 (XV.258)


The original composition for The Fall of Phaeton is a drawing by Michelangelo that was highly coveted during his lifetime.

Although Michelangelo did not make prints himself, printmakers widely copied his designs. The dramatic legend of Zeus striking Phaeton and his chariot out of the sky aptly demonstrates Michelangelo’s ability to portray extremely dynamic, twisting bodies, as seen in the figures of Zeus, the tumbling boy and horses, and the startled women bathing in the river below.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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