Each of these etchings (this one plus Landscape with a Woman Playing a Tambourine, and Shepherds) seems to cast a spell, centered on a sound. In one, a woman plays a tambourine watched by an enraptured youth, as two sheep approach, as if attracted by the sound. In the other, the handsome Narcissus of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, spurring the advances of the wood nymph Echo, falls in love with his own reflection, and leaves her to waste away until she is only a disembodied voice, repeating the words of others.
The artist now thought to have made these engravings has only recently been identified as Frans de Neve II, son of the Flemish painter of the same name (Frans de Neve, 1606–after 1688), to whom the prints were previously attributed. Frans II etched these scenes in the 1660s while working in Rome. There, as a member of the active community of Dutch and Flemish expatriot artists, he established a reputation for classical landscapes inspired by the example of Claude Lorraine and distinguished by their detailed foliage and large figures.
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