[Charon's Cave]

Method Copper engraving
Artist Francis Delaram
Published [London: W. Barrett, 1615]
Dimensions Image 97 x 121, Plate 101 x 127, Sheet 274 x 184 mm
Notes A depiction of Charon's Cave, on the shores of Lake Agnano in southern Italy. The image shows a group of men ushering a dog into the cave mouth, to test its safety before entering in themselves. The dog in fact dies from the warm carbonic acid gas that fills the cave. Smoke plumes from the remains of a Roman building labelled 'Saint German's Stove'. The engraver has taken some artistic licence by adding a skeleton appearing out of the smoke, wielding an arrow at the men below.

An illustration from George Sandy's four volume work 'A Relation of a Journey begun An: Dom: 1610. Foure Bookes. Containing a description of the Turkish Empire, of AEgypt, of the Holy Land, of the Remote parts of Italy, and Ilands adioyning'.

Francis Delaram (active 1615-1627) was a British engraver. Nothing is known of Delaram's life apart from what can be deduced from his prints. Most of them are portraits or title-pages, but Delaram was also responsible for some early books of flowers, beasts and birds, and probably the earliest English drawing book (of which no copy survives). While in London he worked for many publishers, including Compton Holland, Sudbury & Humble, Roger Daniell and Maurice Blount. He never acted as publisher himself.

George Sandys (1578-1644) was a British poet and politician. After studying at Oxford he became colonial treasurer for agriculture and industry of the Virginia Company. In his lifetime he was much admired as a translator of Latin poetry. In 1610, he spent a year in Turkey, Palestine and Egypt. His observations soon saw him regarded as a special authority on the Levant. His good documentation and literary bent marks the transition from travel literature of the sixteenth century to that of the seventeenth. It is also representative of those travel narratives that oscillate between geography, history and autobiographical travelogue of fluid and contradictory character. His publication made an essential contribution to the geographical and ethnographical knowledge of its time. It was translated into German and Flemish, and ran through nine editions in the seventeenth century alone.

Condition: Printed on full sheet with text above and below image. Second engraving of the Lake of Agnano on verso. Time toning. Wear and tear to margins.
Framing unmounted
Price £100.00
Stock ID 45765