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A wizard and his accomplice performing incantations in a forest during a full moon. Etching by S. Palmer and A.H. Palmer.

Palmer, Samuel, 1805-1881.
Date
1883

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Free to use with attribution CC BYCredit: Wellcome Collection
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Description

A wizard, standing by an altar, and accompanied by an assistant, raises the ghost of a crowned king from the dead. The moon, half-covered by cloud, is low on the horizon. An episode described by Virgil in his Eclogue VIII: the narrator tells how the wizard Moeris uses herbs and poisons from Pontus (the Black Sea) to transform himself into a wolf prowling in the woods, and to summon souls of the dead from deep graves (verses 99-100, "Moerim saepe animas imis excire sepulchris ... vidi"). Other aspects of magic shown in the print are also mentioned by Virgil: spells or incantations can bring down the moon (verse 70 "Carmina vel caelo possunt dededucere lunam"), and the flames on the altar can flare up of their own accord as a good omen (verses 106-107, "Aspice corripuit tremulis altaria flammis / sponte sua, dum ferre moror, cinis ipse: bonum sit!").

Publication/Creation

1883

Physical description

1 print : etching ; platemark 13.5 x 19 cm

Type/Technique



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License information

You can use this work for any purpose, including commercial uses, without restriction under copyright law. You should also provide attribution to the original work, source and licence.

Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) terms and conditions https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0

Credit

A wizard and his accomplice performing incantations in a forest during a full moon. Etching by S. Palmer and A.H. Palmer. Credit: Wellcome Collection. CC BY


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