Friday, 20 October 2017

Lorenzo Loli’s etching, “Baccanale of Putti”, c1650



Lorenzo Loli (1612–1691)
“Baccanale of Putti” (aka “Children’s Bacchanal” [Bartsch title]), 1630–90, published by Lorenzo Loli

Size: (sheet) 17.8 x 12.8 cm
State i (of i) undoubtedly a lifetime impression based on the lack of wear to the plate.
TIB 42 (19). 21 (176) (Walter L Strauss & John T Spike [eds.] 1981,“The Illustrated Bartsch: Italian Masters of the Seventeenth Century” vol. 42, p. 147); Bartsch XIX.176.21 (Adam Bartsch 1803, “Le Peintre graveur”, vol. 19, p. 176)

The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Two putti drinking from wine flasks beside wine barrels”
See also the description of this print at the Rijksmuseum:
“Two naked children between wine vessels and jars. One child pours wine into the mouth of the other.”

Condition: crisp impression trimmed along the platemark and laid upon an early support sheet of hand-written sheet music inscribed in ink. The print exhibits a patina of handling marks, minor stains, light creases and small tears acquired over the centuries.

I am selling this exceptionally rare print that is made even more remarkable by having been glued onto a support sheet of music hand inscribed in ink —an extraordinary print on multiple levels of curiosity—for the total cost of AU$420 (currently US$329.36/EUR278.80/GBP249.85 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this old master etching laid upon what may well be an early musical composition written by an old hand, please contact me (oz_jim@printsandprinciples.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.

This print has been sold


Although the subject of infants getting drunk may not be one that contemporary artists would feel socially encouraged to explore, these children are not children from everyday secular life—affectionately called "rug rats". These are putti—children imbued with an allegorical purpose extracted from a classical past even if the word “putti” for such children only came into common use around the time of this etching (circa 1640). Their actions are intended to symbolise ideas of free joy—wild abandonment—and love without constraint.

Regarding the hand inscribed music on the back of this print, I would love to have advice about this score. From my early piano lessons I know that the Italian term written at the top of the score, “Larghetto”, is advice to the musician to slow the tempo down—but not as slow as largo (from which the term larghetto must originate)—and I know (or I think that I know) that such terms had their origins in the Baroque and Renaissance eras. Where I am far out of my depth is the use of what I see as bass clef on the first stave rather than what I would term (perhaps inaccurately) as a “G” or treble clef. Does this mean that the music is intended for a certain instrument leaning to the bass lines of a composition? In short, I need help.







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Update:
My mate from Instagram (@manuscriptsok) has given me the following marvellous insights about the music shown on the support sheet: the music is likely to be a “cello or bassoon line in b flat major” and added that it “would definitely be ensemble music as it doesn’t contain a melody, rather just some structure for a chamber ensemble.” 
Thank you sincerely!

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