Letterio Calapai

Artist's Biography

The Erl-King.

Etching and aquatint, 1950
Image size 9 3/8 x 15 15/16" (250 x 405 mm).
Very good condition.
LOCATION: New York City

Inventory Number: 86575
Price: $1,750.00
Publisher :
The Erlking (also known as the Elf-King) is a European folk story with Scandinavian roots. The ballad was written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in 1782 and was turned into song by Franz Schubert in 1815. In it, the Erlking (an elf or faerie type being) is a symbol of death, a common theme for Romantic Era writers. It tells the story of a father desperately racing across the countryside with his fever stricken child. The longer they travel, the more delusional the child becomes, crying that the Erlking was coming for him. The father tries to comfort the child and pushes their steed to run faster. The child eventually succumbs to their fever and paranoia before a doctor could be found.

This etching is Letterio Calapai's vision of the story.

Inscribed "(Artist's proof)." Signed, titled, and dated in pencil.
20th Century Subjects , Mythical & Whimsical Creatures