Christiane Henriette Koch

Method Copper engraving
Artist Johann Friederich Bause after Anton Graff
Published Leipzig, 1770
Dimensions Image 292 x 207 mm, Plate 315 x 234 mm, Sheet 435 x 235 mm
Notes Portrait of Christiane Henriette Koch as Pelopia, a character in Christian Felix Weisse's Atreus und Thyest, 1767, set within an oval decorated by flowers. A dramatic mask and crown is suspended from the oval, and hangs in front of a pedestal inscribed with the sitters name. Christiane, gazing off to her left, wears a low cut dress embellished with jewels along the bust, and a fur trimmed cloak. Her hair is worn up, and is adorned with pearls and feathers.

Christian Felix Weisse found his inspiration for Atreus und Thyest in Greek mythology. Pelopia, less commonly known as Mnesiphae, was the daughter of Thyestes. After Thyestes' affair with Aerope, the wife of his brother Atreus, was revealed, Atreus killed Thyestes' son. Thyestes is advised by an oracle that should he have a son with his daughter, Pelopia, then that son would kill Atreus. Covering his face, Thyestes attacks and rapes Pelopia, leaving her impregnated. During the attack, Pelopia manages to take Thyestes sword, keeping it to one day identify her attacker. Pelopia later gives birth to Aegisthus and abandons him. Found by a shepherd, Aegisthus is given to Atreus who raises him. Several years later in the myth, Thyestes is captured and brought to Atreus, and Aegishtus is sent to kill Thyestes. Pelopia had previously given Thyestes' sword to Aegishtus, which he carried on his way to Thyestes. It is soon revealed that Thyestes was Pelopia's rapist, causing her to kill herself with her father's sword. Aegisthus goes on to kill Atreus, just as the oracle had stated, and Thyestes' kingdom is restored to him.

Christiane Henriette Koch (1731 - 1804) was a German actress.

Johann Friedrich Bause (1738 - 1814) was a German engraver working in Liepzig.

Anton Graff (1736 - 1813) was a Swiss portrait painter. He produced numerous portraits of his contemporaries, but later in his life, also painted landscapes. In 1766, Graff travelled to Dresden where he acted as court painter, and professor at Dresden Art Academy.

Condition: Discolouration to upper margin, lower left corner, and partially to right edge. Some foxing to margins.
Framing unmounted
Price £140.00
Stock ID 21956