Tuesday 17 May 2016
Antoinette Bouzonnet Stella (1641–76)
"Plate 20: The Entrance of the Emperor Sigismond into Mantua", 1675
Etching on fine laid paper with full margins (as published)
Size: (sheet) 26.8 x 43 cm; (plate) 16.6 x 40 cm; (image) 16.2 x 40 cm
Inscribed (lower left) "Cum privil. Regis" and (lower right) with the plate number, "20".
The British Museum offers the following description of this print: "a procession of Roman figures, on horseback, going to the right, with senators on the left, and on the left a bull being led to sacrifice; after the frieze representing the triumph of Sigismund executed by Giulio Romano in the Palazzo del Te, Mantua" (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3458591&partId=1&searchText=Plate+20&people=106503&page=1).
LeBlanc 5; Katalog der Ornamentstichsammlung Berlin 4074 (See description of the series Entrance of Emperor Sigismund into Mantua at the Victoria Albert Museum: http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1157017/the-triumph-and-entry-of-print-bouzonnet-stella-antoine/ also at: http://www.janjohnsonprints.com/BOUZONNET%20Emperor.html)
Condition: Marvellously rich impression with no signs of wear to the plate and full margins as published. The sheet is in good condition for its age. Nevertheless, there is age related toning (i.e. yellowing) at the sheet's edges, a light fold on the left and a few black specks (upper-left recto).
I am selling this original and very crisp etching by one of the few well-documented women artists from the Renaissance for a total cost of [deleted] including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this print full of incidents from the day life of antique Rome, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold
There are very few well-documented women artists from the Renaissance and Baroque periods—from memory, I can only think of six, but after a quick "Google search" I discovered that there are ten ladies that history remembers. One reason for them being remembered is that they had to be strong women. I mention this attribute as their career path was strewn with hurdles set by the male gatekeepers of the arts industry at the time. For instance, women were not permitted to have formal art training and certainly not training involving nude figures. Consequently, their training was provided privately by family and friends.
In the case of Antoinette Bouzonnet Stella's training as an artist, her family were all printmakers and so she was fully acculturated into the industry from childhood. Moreover, her career as an artist was underwritten by her uncle, the painter Jaques Stella, who was a close friend of the legendary painter, Nicolas Poussin. Jacques Stella not only mentored her artistic development but he also "housed" her in his lodgings at the Louvre.
This print by Antoinette Bouzonnet Stella which reproduces a panel of a mural painted by her brother has a few interesting features that I need to point out. First, note that the centre horse is urinating. This may be a horsey thing to do, but the choice to portray this act of urination in a formal scene says a lot about the artist and her brother. Next, this urinating horse has a bridle bit in its mouth but there is no headstall or reins attached to keep it in its place. I may not know a lot about horses but this feature is a mystery to me. If one looks closely, however, the bridling of the other horses is also problematic. For instance, the horse on the left has reins but no bridal bit.