Monday, 20 May 2019
Enea Vico's engraving, “Statue of Hermaphroditus in a Niche”, 1552
Enea Vico (1523–1567) according to the British Museum and the Museum Boijmans or an anonymous artist as proposed by the Rijksmuseum.
“Statue of Hermaphroditus in a Niche” (descriptive title only) (aka “Hermaphroditos”), 1552, after Marcantonio Raimondi’s (1470/1482–1527/1534) engraving, “Apollo” and its repetition in reverse (TIB 26.332 & 333), after a sculpture that was once in the collection of the Palazzo Farnese (as inscribed on plate), from the series, “'Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae” (Mirror of Roman Splendour), published by Antoine Lafréry (aka Antonio Lafreri) (1512–1577) in Rome.
The Rijksmuseum offers the following insights into the series “Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae”, in which this print features:
(transl.) “This corpus, consisting of prints with representations of works of art and buildings from ancient and modern Rome, originated from publishers Antonio Salamanca and Antonio Lafreri. These two foreign publishers joined forces in Rome in the period 1553-1563. Their prints quickly became extremely popular with tourists and collectors, who purchased the prints individually or in large groups. Large groups of Speculum prints were often bound together in albums upon request. There are several Speculum albums that are all different in content. Between 1573 and 1577 Antonio Lafreri published a special title page (with the title 'Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae') that people could add to their collections. The death of Lafreri in 1577 did not mean the end of the corpus. A large part of the copper plates passed to Claudio and Stefano Duchetti. The rest was spread over various other publishers. The popularity of the Speculum prints managed to inspire publishers for a long time to have copies made and to add new prints to the corpus.” (RP-P-H-H-925)
Engraving on fine laid paper trimmed unevenly along the image borderline and backed with a support sheet.
Size: (sheet) 33.5 x 21.4 cm.
Inscribed on plate on pedestal base cartouche: “HERMAPHRODITI STATVA .../ … PALLATIO FARNESIANO COLLOCATA / ANT LAFRERII FORMISS ROMAE MDLII.”
Huelsen 56–A (Christian Huelsen 1921, “Das Speculum Romanae Magnificentiae des Antonio Lafreri”); Rubach 320 (Birte Rubach 2016, “Ant. Lafreri Formis Romae: Der Verleger Antonio Lafreri und seine Druckgraphikproduktion”, Berlin, Lukas Verlag, p. 415).
The British Museum offers the following description of this print:
“Statue of a youth identified as Hermaphroditos by the inscription, standing in contrapposto within a niche, right hand raised above head, left hand resting on a support. 1552 Engraving”
See also the description of this print offered by Museum Boijmans:
See also the description offered by the Rijksmuseum that attributes this print to an anonymous artist:
“Image of a male nude with an arm above the head. In the inscription, this figure is interpreted as Hermaphroditus, but the figure is also very similar to the Apollo Lyceus type.”
Condition: well-printed crisp impression in a generally clean condition, trimmed along the image borderline with replenished losses and laid upon a support sheet of archival (millennium quality) washi paper.
I am selling this Renaissance period engraving dated on the plate, “MDLII” (1552)—most likely a lifetime impression based on the crisp quality of the lines showing no sign of wear to the printing plate—for AU$412 (currently US$284.73/EUR255.14/GBP223.65 at the time of this listing) including postage and handling to anywhere in the world (but not, of course, any import duties/taxes imposed by some countries).
If you are interested in purchasing this rare and (to my eyes) a curiously exciting print, please contact me (email@example.com) and I will send you a PayPal invoice to make the payment easy.
This print has been sold