Monogram, in plate, l.c.: NB Inscription, in plate, lower margin: Tabula marmorea, pugnae Dacicae: ex diruto Traini, ut putatur, arcu: in Constantini cognomento Magni; gua spectat Auentinum; ornatus caussa; Romae, translata. / Antonii Lafrerii Seguani formis Romae 1553
This engraving reproduces a relief sculpture from the second century CE of Roman soldiers under Emperor Trajan conquering the Dacians in what is today Romania. The sculpture was later removed from its original monument built to honor Trajan and incorporated into the Arch of Constantine, erected in Rome by the emperor Constantine between 312 and 315.
The relief depicts mounted Roman soldiers, dressed in their characteristic armor and helmets, surging to the left and right from the center of the scene. A group of soldiers sounding horns stands in their midst. The Romans' vanquished Dacian foes lie trampled beneath the horses' hooves.
This print faithfully reproduces a relief sculpture from the second century CE celebrating the conquest of Dacia (modern Romania) by the Emperor Trajan. The print was commissioned from Beatrizet by the publisher Antoine Lafrery, who oversaw the production of numerous prints of famous artworks from antiquity as well as works by Michelangelo and Raphael, which had established Rome's reputation as an artistic capital of Europe. Prints of such famous artworks were widely sought after by collectors, connoisseurs, and artists.
Inscribed in plate in image, LC below statue: "Omnium elegantissimum Herculis signum Gliconis Atheniensis peritissimi artificis manu fabre factu[m], Quod Paulo iij Pont. max[im]o. in/ thermarum antoninianar[um] ruderibus inuentum et in domus Farnesianë ad campum Florë interiori porticu locatum Ant. Lafrerius/ Sequanus aeneis formis diligenter expressit Anno [M] D LXII" (See object file for more accurate transcription.) Inscribed in plate, LR corner of pedestal, top face: "Jacobus Bossius Belga incidit" Inscribed in plate, on rock in image, in Greek (See object file for transcription.) Watermark: crossed arrows surmounted by star; somewhat similar to Briquet 6291, 6298, 6299, 6300.
This engraving reproduces a colossal marble sculpture of Hercules leaning upon his club, which is draped with a lion skin. Bos carefully records the powerful musculature of the figure and sets the statue within a niche.
The engraving reproduces a statue that is itself a copy from the 3rd century CE of an original from the 4th century BCE. The monumental sculpture was unearthed in Rome in the 1540s, and quickly became one of the most famous and influential of all ancient sculptures. The statue was purchased soon after its discovery by Cardinal Alessandro Farnese and displayed in the family's residence in Rome, the Farnese Palace, until the late eighteenth century.
This print depicts the body of a man being lowered from a cross. Two men lean over the top of the cross to remove the nails from the dead man's hands and pass his body down to two other men standing on ladders. Three women and a man lay on the ground in mourning at the foot of the cross.
This print represents the removal of Jesus' body after his crucifixion. Four men, including Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, work to lower his body from the cross. The group of mourners at the foot of the cross includes the Virgin Mary, who slumps forward in a swoon, and John the Evangelist, who supports her from behind. The balanced composition and the dignified emotional restraint of the figures in the print reveal the influence of Raphael.
A woman sits in an interior holding a book in her right arm, which is propped upon a ledge. She reads by the light of a torch held by a child standing next to her. Print trimmed to image frame. Image was previously folded at center (multiple folds). Paper size: lh 27 3/5cm & rh 27 4/5cm x tw 22 3/5cm bw 22 3/10cm.
This tranquil scene shows a sibyl, an ancient prophetess, reading by torchlight. The print is the first attempt by the artist Ugo da Carpi at reproducing a drawing by Raphael in an innovative medium known as chiaroscuro woodcut. Developed in Germany in the first decade of the sixteenth century, chiaroscuro woodcuts were the earliest images printed in color, produced entirely from carved wooden blocks printed sequentially upon a single sheet of paper. The muted tonalities of chiaroscuro woodcuts sought to capture the modulated effects of light and shadow, known by the Italian term "chiaroscuro" (literally "light/dark"), qualities that were prized in contemporary pen, ink, and wash drawings. In his "Lives of the Artists," first published in 1550, Giorgio Vasari wrote that Raphael produced a drawing "in chiaroscuro" to serve as a model for this print. The combination of a bright torch in a dark room was an ideal subject for this initial collaborative foray by the Renaissance master and Ugo da Carpi into the medium of chiaroscuro woodcut.
The front (obverse) of the medal presents a profile portrait of a bearded man wearing a cassock, cap, and stole. The reverse depicts a bridge spanning a river. A winged figure flies above the bridge blowing a trumpet, while a nude male figure reclines below the bridge in the foreground and a wolf nurses at his feet. Inscriptions run around both the border edge of both sides of the medal.
The front of this medal depicts Pope Clement IX, and the reverse represents one of his public works projects, the restoration of the Ponte Sant’Angelo that bridged the Tiber in Rome. The bridge appears in the center of the scene, while an angel trumpets above. A river god, representing the Tiber, reclines below the bridge while a nursing wolf--a symbol of Rome--appears at his feet.
A nude man and woman recline together on the right side of this octagonal plaque. They lay upon the mesh of a net, which is being pulled by a nude male figure seated nearby next to an anvil. Behind the seated man appear two standing figures working at a brick forge. Another pair of figures stands in the middle ground with a row of trees behind them. A diminutive figure mounted on horses appears against a disk in the sky.
This bronze plaquette depicts Vulcan, the god of fire in Greek and Roman mythology, springing a trap upon his wife Venus, whom he suspected of infidelity as recounted in Ovid's Metamorphoses. Vulcan sits at the left with an anvil between his legs and pulls a finely woven net to ensnare Venus who lays in the embrace of her lover Mars, the god of war. This plaquette comes from a series depicting episodes from the Metamorphoses that were created by Jacob Cornelisz. Cobaert after drawings by Guglielmo della Porta.
Two women accompanied by a pair of putti appear seated in the foreground of this painting. On the left sits a winged woman crowned with a laurel wreath and wearing a long white robe and a vivid ocher-colored mantle. She leans on a globe while cradling a large book in her right arm to which she points with her left hand. In her right hand she holds a compass. A putto peeks from beneath her mantle, and a viol is visible beneath the globe. The other woman sits on a cloud. She wears a golden crown and a richly colored blue mantle. She grasps a lyre with her left hand and leans toward the woman seated next to her, gesturing in the direction of the book with her right hand. A second putto stands near her left shoulder holding a gold circlet in his left hand. The background is filled with glimpses of neoclassical architecture, including fluted columns and a facade with a row of Ionic columns supporting an entablature.
Two women in long robes stand arm in arm in a landscape. One figure holds an olive branch in her right hand, and her companion cradles a cornucopia against her hip.
The allegorical figure of Peace stands on the viewer's left with an olive branch. She is embraced by Abundance, identified by the cornucopia in her left hand. This elegant print is the first fruit of the collaboration between Coriolano and Guido Reni (1575-1642), the famous painter. By the time of Reni's death, Coriolano would produce at least eighteen other chiaroscuro woodcuts after drawings that Reni had prepared solely for translating into prints.
This small print depicts a bust-length portrait of a woman within an oval frame. She turns slightly to her left and gazes downward. A bright halo encircles her head.
This intimate portrait of the Virgin Mary notably omits the infant Christ and instead focuses upon her alone. The close looking demanded by the small scale of the print augments this emphasis, as does the series of concentric circular shapes created by the frame and halos that direct attention toward her face. Many a devout Christian in the period prayed to the Virgin as a protectress who would intercede on their behalf with Christ and God and appeal for mercy. As a reproducible and relatively inexpensive image, this small and skillfully-wrought print was thus designed to fulfill widespread devotional needs.
A woman wearing long robes sits holding a pen in her right hand and props up a blank tablet in her lap. A putto helps support the table from behind and points toward the seated figure. A pot of ink with another pen appears next to his foot.
The print depicts an ancient prophetess, known as a sibyl, holding a pen and awaiting a prophecy that she will inscribe on the blank tablet held in her lap. The chiaroscuro woodcut was probably made by Coriolano after a drawing by the famous painter Guido Reni (1575-1642). Reni, in turn, apparently found inspiration for this work in a chiaroscuro woodcut of a similar subject made by the artist Ugo da Carpi after Raphael over a century earlier.
A small crowd of figures gathers around the body of a dead man and a fainting woman in the center of this bronze panel. The dead man's body and the two men holding his burial shroud appear in the foreground, while the fainting woman and the three women and the man who support her are positioned immediately above and behind them. Another woman with loose, flowing hair leans forward to kiss the left hand of the dead man, uniting the two parts of this central group. Four other male figures, rendered in slightly smaller scale and lower relief, look on from the sides. Three crosses provide the backdrop to the drama. The central cross is empty, yet two twisting nude males are suspended from the crosses on either side.
This bronze panel depicts the removal of Christ from the cross, which looms empty in the background. His muscular body, held by Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus, lies in calm repose at the center of a storm of grief. Mary Magdalene, her hair unbound, leans sharply forward to kiss Christ's left wrist, while the Virgin Mary falls back in a faint into the arms of three women and St. John the Evangelist. Great sweeps of drapery augment the impassioned responses of the figures. Four onlookers stand to the sides and the two thieves, their bodies naked and twisted, still hang on their crosses.
The obverse of this medal depicts a profile portrait of a man with a tonsure. The reverse represents a man holding a cross-staff piloting a boat labeled "Eclesia" along the gunwale. Both sides of the medal have inscriptions around the edge.
This medal commemorates Pope Nicholas V (r. 1447–1454), who appears in a profile portrait on the front (obverse) of the medal along with an identifying inscription. The reverse represents the pontiff, cross-staff in hand, confidently steering a boat labeled “Eclesia,” or “The Church.”
The front (obverse) of this medal depicts the profile portrait of a man with a tonsure, wearing a cope adorned with acorns and oak leaves and a large clasp. An inscription runs around the border. The reverse represents a bridge spanning a river enclosed within a border of oak leaves. An inscription appears above the balustrade of the bridge.
This masterful portrait of Pope Sixtus IV captures in bold relief his physical appearance and shrewd, worldly intelligence. Sixtus IV sought to strengthen papal authority in Rome, continuing the policy begun by his predecessor Nicholas V. Papal sponsorship of public works within the city of Rome served as a foundation for this policy. The reverse of this medal depicts one of the most significant public works undertaken by Sixtus IV, the Ponte Sisto, which was the first bridge since Antiquity to be built across the Tiber River.
This drawing depicts a serene landscape. A road running alongside a stream appears in the foreground among rocky outcrops, thick vegetation and bushy trees. The vista opens out in the middle ground and includes a lake at the right with a church standing on its shores at the left. A town is visible on the far shore of the lake and low mountains rise in the distance.
Crescenzio Onofri was trained in his hometown of Rome in the school of the painter Gaspard Dughet, who was himself trained by the famous French artist Nicolas Poussin. The classicizing influence of Dughet and Claude Lorraine can be seen in the careful balancing of elements and the measured distribution of light within Onofri's drawing. While Onofri probably drew inspiration from the Italian countryside--the church in the middle ground, for instance, shows architectural features particular to the region around Rome--the view itself was certainly one that Onofri constructed from his imagination.
Senatus populusque Romanus / monumenta marmorea magistratuum / triumphorumque ab urbe condita ad / tempora divi Augusti ruderibus in foro / egestis eruta impensa Al ex(andri) Farnesii card(inalis) / Pauli III Pont(ificis) Max(imi) nepot(is) in Capitolio p(osita), from Piranesi's Lapides Capitolini (1762)
Large double-folio print, with fold marks. Contains various monuments and their text from ancient Rome. Title plate beneath print indicates that the fragments were from ancient Rome and found in various ancient ruins, with the exception of fragment XLIX, currently (at time of print) in the collection of the Collegio Romano, a building then housing the Jesuits' Rome seminary.
Print is patched. Separate plate marks are visible between image and inscription. The image is patched from four segments, while the text below is patched from two segments. Paper bears no watermark. Folio fold marks are noted on copy in file. Large text portions read as follows:
Inscription 1 (in image plate, center): senatus populusque Romanus / monumenta marmorea magistratuum / triumphorumque ab urbe condita ad / tempora divi Augusti ruderibus in foro / egestis eruta impensa Al ex(andri) Farnesii card(inalis) / Pauli III Pont(ificis) Max(imi) nepot(is) in Capitolio p(osita)
Inscription 2 (in separate text plate attached at bottom): Lapides Capitolini / Sive Fastorum fragmenta, quos Verrius Flaccus, Caii et Lucii, Augusti Nepotum, praeceptor ase dispositos in inferiore fori parte conlocaverat, nunc primum edita prout cermuntur in Capitolio servata / nempe characteris et Lapidum forma, additis ad ornatum degantioribus aliquot veteribus sigillis, et anaglyplus / Fragmentum XLIX in Collegio Romano Patrum Societatis Jesu adservatum
Monuments erected in ancient Rome, and their inscriptions. Text reads: X.
The philosopher Democritus sits dejectedly amid funereal surroundings, brooding upon the fleeting nature of human life and achievement. Although famed for laughing at even serious matters in order to show their insignificance, he falls silent here, overwhelmed by the accumulated signs of death and impermanence.
A bearded man sits in a cemetery upon a stone block and leans on a sarcophagus with his head in his hand. A book sits in his lap. Sarcophagi, obelisks, and funerary urns surround him. The bones and body parts of humans and animals along with a discarded helmet and books are strewn across the foreground.
The philosopher Democritus sits dejectedly amid funereal surroundings, brooding upon the fleeting nature of human life and achievement. Although famed for laughing at even serious matters in order to how their insignificance, he falls silent here, overwhelmed by the accumulated signs of death and impermanence.
A standing man in a magnificent crested helmet addresses a bearded man in bedraggled clothes sitting on the ground before the mouth of a large barrel. The latter figure turns his head to respond and extends his right hand toward the other man. A group of soldiers crowd around.
Alexander the Great, wearing a crested helmet, approaches the philosopher Diogenes, who had famously rejected all worldly possessions to live in a burial urn. Eager to meet the philosopher, the all-powerful emperor asks what he may do for him. With a sharply dismissive wave of his right hand, Diogenes barks, "For now I want you to get out of my sunlight." Thunderstruck by this rejection, the emperor realizes that wealth and power do not bring true fulfillment.
This sheet contains studies of fourteen figures in various stages of elaboration. Several of the figures are represented standing while gazing upward, including a man with an outstretched arm on the left edge of the sheet, a woman standing before a column near the center, and a man with a cross over his shoulder in the upper right corner. Two summarily sketched seated figures in the lower left corner appear to develop ideas for a similar figure placed at the foot of a column in a more detailed study near the middle of the sheet. In the upper left quadrant of the sheet appears a monk kneeling beneath a tree with a figure holding a staff standing behind him. Marked off by an octagonal frame along the lower edge is a seated female figure pointing upward with her right hand and holding a globe in her left.
The studies on this sheet epitomize the fluid and dynamic drawing style of Pietro Testa that made him one of the most renowned draughtsmen and printmakers working in Rome during the 1630s and 40s. The studies represent a variety of figures, some illustrating apparent religious subjects. The only recognizable figure is Astrology, depicted near the bottom edge of the sheet, who is identified by an inscription and the globe in her left hand. Although his prints and drawings garned Testa recognition and were widely sought by collectors, he suffered a number of professional setbacks, partly due to his acerbic personality, and never achieved the public notoriety as a painter that he strongly coveted.
The front (obverse) of this medal represents a portrait of a man in profile wearing a papal tiara and a cope. The reverse depicts a city square dominated by an obelisk with a pair of identical domed churches in the background. Inscriptions run around the edge of the medal on both sides.
A portrait of Alexander VII wearing the papal tiara graces the front of this medal. On the reverse appears the renovated Piazza del Popolo in Rome, a civic works project initiated by Alexander VII. The piazza owed its importance to the three streets that led from the square into the heart of the city. The medal anticipates the piazza’s appearance after the renovation by placing two domed churches in the middle ground with the three streets receding dramatically into the distance. The artist reinforced the symmetry of the paired churches by arranging the scene around a central obelisk, thereby heightening the sense of rational order and breathtaking grandeur imposed by the pope’s will upon the urban fabric.
White marble sculpture of female figure, partially nude with a cloth draped loosely around her waist and over her left forearm. She holds a cluster of flowers in her left hand, and a single bloom in her right; a basket of flowers located on base to left and slightly behind figure.
Flora, the goddess of flowers from Roman mythology, reflects the popularity of Neo-classical taste during the mid-19th century.