Friday, 2 June 2017
Photogravure of an engraving by an unidentified artist after Mantegna’s, “Roman Soldiers Carrying Trophies”, 1495
Unidentified engraver (School of Mantegna) (attributed to Andrea Zoan [fl.1475–1519])
“Roman Soldiers Carrying Trophies”, 1495, PHOTOGRAVURE copy in reverse after Andrea Mantegna (c.1431–1506), but with a pilaster added at the right.
Regarding the copy of this print held by British Museum, the BM’s curator offers the following information:
“A good impression of Hind's second copy. This print was issued as a black and white facsimile by the British Museum in 'Prints and Drawings in the British Museum, Reproduced by Photographic Process', [First Series] Part I (Italian Prints), Published by the Trustees in 1882, where it was number XXII and described there as 'Andrea Mantegna. Soldiers Bearing Trophies, 1431-1506.'; (Shelfmark 245*.b.12).” (http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=1343986&partId=1&searchText=mantegna+triumph&page=1)
Photogravure on buff coloured laid paper.
Size: (sheet) 29.4 x 32.9 cm
TIB 25 (13).14 (236) (Walter L Strauss & Mark Zucker [Eds.] 1980, “The Illustrated Bartsch”, vol. 25, p. 47); Hind 1938-48 15.b (Arthur Mayger Hind 1938, “Early Italian Engraving, a critical catalogue”, 7 vols, London); Bartsch XIII.236.14 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, 21 vols, Vienna)
Condition: PHOTOGRAVURE in very good condition. There is a light centrefold and a thin spot in the centre (verso) that has a patch of tape supporting it.
I am selling this photogravure of Mantegna famous engraving translated in reverse by an unidentified artist from the School of Mantegna for the total cost of AU$170 including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.
If you are interested in purchasing this photogravure as described by the British Museum (see above), please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
There is a secret lying behind many of the engravings by Mantegna: his use of a return stroke (i.e. a stroke where the drawing instrument isn’t lifted from the end of a quickly laid line and leaves a trace of the artist’s movement in returning to the beginning of the next line). Unlike a pencil or ink drawing, however, engravings are made with a sharp pointed instrument—the burin—designed to make a scored mark into the metal printing plate. Using a burin limits an artist’s freedom to make “natural” return strokes and this is the secret of Magenta: he faked the “look” of return strokes. Magenta was not the first to fake such marks as this honour goes to Antonio del Pollaiuolo (1431–98) who surprisingly seems to have only made a single engraving … but what a masterpiece it is: “Battle of the Nudes”, c.1470 (see a wonderful article on this print by the Cleveland Museum of Art: http://www.clevelandart.org/exhibcef/battle/html/4286621.html).
Interestingly, Francesco Rosselli (c.1445–c.1513) went a step further in the use of fake return strokes in the sense that he retains the “hooks” of the return line (i.e. the twist at the start and conclusion of each return-stroke) without showing a fully inscribed zigzag of return stroke lines. For those interested in this topic, see my discussion: http://www.printsandprinciples.com/2012/08/rembrandt-courtry-chauvel-passion-in.html