Sunday, 5 November 2017

Geronima Parasole’s woodcut, “Moses”, 1622, after Antonio Tempesta


Geronima Parasole (?–1622)
“Moses”, 1622, after Antonio Tempesta (1555?– 1630)

Woodcut on very fine wove paper with small margins from a late edition
Lettered on the block featured at the lower right corner: "AT" and "P.M.F."
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Moses; seated facing front, looking towards left, holding a rod and a law tablet; after Tempesta. Woodcut”

Condition: near faultless, well-inked crisp impression on fine wove paper in excellent condition (i.e. there are no tears, holes, folds, abrasions, stains or foxing), nevertheless, there is thinning at the upper corners (verso) where there was once mounting hinges.

I am selling this remarkably fine woodcut from one of the few known women printmakers from the Renaissance era, for the total cost of AU$148 (currently US$113.65/EUR97.73/GBP85.68 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world.

If you are interested in purchasing this eye-catchingly superb print, 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


Sadly women were actively discouraged from being professional artists during the early years of the Renaissance. For instance, only a few decades before this print was executed, women were not allowed to join a craftsmen’s guild, or to be apprenticed to an artist or even to sign their name on artworks. Fortunately there were a few strong-willed women artist/printmakers that changed this status quo, hence the Parasole’s initials inscribed on the block supporting Moses’ foot. Another of these women who shook the art world was Diana Scultori (aka Diana Ghisi; Diana Mantovana) (1536–88). Diana not only changed her surname according to who was in power at the time to help her career, but Diana was also the first woman to EVER to sign an artwork. Moreover, Diana was such a savvy artistic entrepreneur that she even managed to copyright men’s night caps—imagine what would have happened to the marketing of baseball caps if there hadn’t been the great Diana as the first to copyright a cap’s design!

Regarding the execution of this print, note the cross-hatching employed to give three dimensional form to the drapery on Moses and the columns in the distance. One could be forgiven to see the fine network of overlaid parallel lines as being achieved as if the artist were working with pen and ink. Amazingly, this is far from the truth. This pattern of crossed lines is an illusion: a complete fabrication. To create the illusion, Parasole needed to chisel/cut away the diamond-shaped spaces between the crossed lines with such precision and unbelievable patience that the eye “believes” that the black marks are hand drawn lines. 







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