Theseus seated on the body of the conquered Minotaur, after a marble statue by Canova. Copper engraving from 1787 by Raffaello Morghen after a drawing by Bonaventura Salesa. Text below the image: ‘Sic domito saevum prostravit corpore Theseus neqvicquam vanis iactantem cornua ventis. Opera in scultura di marmo bianco del Sig. Antonio Canova apartemente al Sig. Conte Giuseppe de Fries in Vienna' with names: left 'Bona. Salesa delin’ right ‘Raphael Morghen sculp.'
Already by 1788 (Memorie per le Belle Art, Part IV, Rome Stamperia Pagliarini) artcritics praised Morghen’s engraving for the great refinement and the use of the lateral light provoking an impressive chiaroscuro effect.
Canova sold the group of Theseus in 1786 to the Count von Fries for his palace in Vienna. Only one year later Angelica Kauffman painted the Count; on the portrait she displayed the Theseus group in the background. It was von Fries himself who requested Morghen for the manufacture of the engraving. The first prints were printed in Rome. According to Palmerini, biographer Morghen, the copper plate came into the possession of the merchant Artaria in Mannheim who had it printed in Paris too. The marble sculpture by Canova is now in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Sheet Size 52 x 72.5 cm
Plate margins 38.6 x 52.1
Site by Artimin