Hand-coloured lithograph, image 240 x 300mm.
A rather surreal scene of a tea party in the clouds above Mount Parnassus, where an absurd singing group is accompanied by, among other things, a honking goose, a rocking horse, a man turning a hurdy-gurdy and a one-man band. Mount Parnassus is a mountain of barren limestone in central Greece that towers above Delphi, north of the Gulf of Corinth, and offers scenic views of the surrounding olive groves and countryside. According to Greek mythology, this mountain was sacred to Apollo, the Corycian nymphs, and the home of the Muses. The name 'Parnassus' in literary and academic circles typically refers to its distinction as the home of poetry, literature, and learning. This print may illustrate one of the Parnassus plays produced at St. John's College, Cambridge, as part of the Christmas entertainments at the latter end of the 16th century. The plays concern students' metaphorical journeys to enlightenment and knowledge ('Parnassus') through the university experience and beyond. Authorship of the plays is uncertain, nor is it known if they were all the work of the same man. John Weever has been suggested as author of the first play; the satirist Joseph Hall has been seen as an influence on – if not the author of – the other two, though recent statistical tests bring Hall's authorship into question. The dramatist John Day has also been proposed as a possible author. Good colour, on full-size sheet, by an unidentified artist.
[Ref: 7895] £290.00