The Temple of the Muses Mythological Figures & Fable 1733 Engravings -- Hercules Combat with the Hydra


Bernard Picart (or Picard) (1673-1733) was a French book illustrator and one of the outstanding engravers from the first decades of the 18th century.


In 'Neueröffneter Musen-Tempel', a collection of mythological fables and stories (most notably from Ovid's 'Metamorphoses') is presented, accompanied by sixty copperplate engravings by Picart. The illustrations are superior in quality, even as they appeared in 1733 in the fading light of the Baroque tradition. The fabulous ornate border patterns lend the compositions something of a formal quality like framed paintings; indeed, Picart drew inspiration for a number of his engravings from mid-17th century works by the Rubens student, Abraham van Diepenbeeck. But the majority of the designs are by Picart himself.

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