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.
About this picture
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!").
1 print : etching ; platemark 13.5 x 19 cm
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