Carlo Maria Mariani

Offspring of Helios


In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Carlo Maria Mariani born 1931
Lithograph on paper
Image: 622 × 870 mm
Purchased 1984

Catalogue entry

Carlo Maria Mariani born 1931

P77029 Offspring of Helios 1982

Lithograph 622 x 870 (24 1/2 x 34 1/4) on wove paper 705 x 1001 (27 3/4 x 39 3/8); printed and published by Carini, Florence in an edition of 90
Inscribed ‘Carlo Maria Mariani 82' below image b.r., ‘Eliadi' below image bottom centre and ‘67/90' below image b.l.
Purchased from Nigel Greenwood Inc. (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
Lit: Danny Berger, ‘Carlo Maria Mariani in his Studio in Rome: An Interview', Print Collector's Newsletter, vol. 15, July-Aug. 1984, pp.84-86.

This entry is based on a conversation between the compiler and the artist at the Tate Gallery on 3 March 1988.

P77029 depicts the sisters of Phaethon whom Apollo turned into poplar trees when he tired of their grief over their brother's death. The image explores the moment of this transformation. The artist was fascinated by the subject of metamorphosis and has stated ‘All of us are subject to metamorphosis. Maybe we do not become trees, but we are constantly changing. We change humor, ideas, concepts. Our lives are a continuous metamorphosis' (Berger 1984, p.86). The same theme was the subject of a slightly earlier lithograph, ‘Heliades I' 1982 (repr. Berger 1984, p.86) and was explored in the painting ‘Eliadi' 1981-2 (repr. Flash Art, no.133, April 1987, p.62, in col.).

No preparatory drawings were made for P77029 and no models, in art or life, were used to create the two figures or any other details. Mariani drew directly onto the lithographic stone using grease pencils and the lithograph faithfully preserves the feeling of a crayon drawing. The drawing was done in his studio in Rome and the edition was then printed in Florence.

This entry has been approved by the artist.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.412-13

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