Engraving, Statua di Meleagro con la testa del cinghiate calidonio, da tui ucciso, by Robert van Audenaert


Engraving on handmade paper from the Greek hero Meleager with the head of the Calydonian pig, by Robert van Audenaert. The image is 31 x 20 cm and is in a large passe partout. The engraving is in good condition.

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Robert van Auden-Aerd , was a Flemish painter, engraver, etcher, who was born in Ghent in 1663.

Among other things, he engraved works by Maratti, Abr. Janssens, Gaulli. He was a student of Jan van Cleve (III), Frans van Cuyck de Myerhop and Carlo Maratti.

In 1685 he went to live and work in Rome where he taught Pietro Rotari, among others, in 1723 he returned to Ghent where he died in 1743.

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Meleager was a hero who was honored at Calydon in Aetolia. He was already famous as the host of the Calydonian boar hunt in the epic tradition reworked by Homer. Meleager is also mentioned as one of the Argonauts.

Meleager was a Calydonian prince like the son of Althaea and the winegrower King Oeneus or according to some of the god Ares. He was the brother of Deianeira, Toxeus, Clymenus, Periphas, Agelaus (or Ageleus), Thyreus (or Phereus or Pheres), Gorge, Eurymede and Melanippe. Meleager was the father of Parthenopeus by Atalanta but he married Cleopatra, daughter of Idas and Marpessa. They had a daughter, Polydora, who became the bride of Protesilaus, who left her bed on their wedding night to join the expedition to Troy.

When Meleager was born, the Moirai (the Fates) predicted that he would live until a piece of burning wood in the family’s hearth was consumed by the fire. Althaea overheard this prediction, she immediately put out the fire and banished the piece of wood.

Oeneus sent Meleager out to gather heroes from all over Greece to hunt the Calydonian bear who had terrorized the area and destroyed the vines. In addition to the heroes he needed, he chose Atalanta, a savage hunter whom he loved. According to one report from the hunt, when Hylaeus and Rhaecus, two centaurs, tried to rape Atalanta, Meleager killed them. Then Atalanta injured the pig and Meleager killed it. He awarded her the skin because she had drawn the first drop of blood.

Meleager’s uncles Toxeus, the ‘archer’ and Plexippus became furious because the prize was given to a woman. Meleager killed them in the ensuing fight. He also killed Iphicles and Eurypylus for insulting Atalanta. When Althaea discovered that Meleager had murdered her brother and one of her sons, Althaea placed the piece of wood she had stolen from the vent holes (the ones who had predicted the Fates, once flooded with fire, would kill Meleager) on the fire, said the fulfilling prophecy and killing Meleager, her own son.