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Print

Print

  • Place of origin:

    Italy (Published)

  • Date:

    second quarter 16th century (Published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Modena, Nicoletto da (Engraver)
    Salamanca, Antonio, born 1478 - died 1562 (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Engraving on paper

  • Museum number:

    E.180-1885

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

This engraving by Nicoletto da Modena shows a dense grotesque design. Two of the figures in the print are copied from Nero’s Golden House, the wildly extravagant palace the emperor built for himself after the great fire of Rome. Nicoletto scratched his name there in 1507. However, his dense and imaginative style is closer to different types of grotesque designed by the Italian painter Bernardo Pinturicchio (active in the late 15th century), rather than the Roman original. Nicoletto’s grotesque prints were among the first to be published. The theme of the grotesque – referring to designs with human and animal forms and foliage – was a popular one around this period.

Physical description

Plate 1. Ornamental panel with bound slaves and a birdcage.

Place of Origin

Italy (Published)

Date

second quarter 16th century (Published)

Artist/maker

Modena, Nicoletto da (Engraver)
Salamanca, Antonio, born 1478 - died 1562 (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Engraving on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Signed in monogram twice NO with a vase.
Lettered An. sa. exc.
A winged figure writes SPQR.D.I.I on a tablet on the left. On the right a similar figure writes .D.D. and A.N.

Dimensions

Height: 26 cm Cut to, Width: 13.8 cm Cut to

Object history note

From Miller (1999), p. 76:
A date of 1507 has been suggested for the first publication of these prints (Washington, p.478), placing them among the earliest prints of their type produced in Italy. The engraver is known to have seen Nero's Domus Aurea in Rome in that year, as an inscription there reads Nicholeto da Modena/Ferrara 1507 (Washington, p.466). It has been suggested (Berliner, 1925-26, p.15 and Washington, p.478) that a figure in a work by Urs Graf, datable to 1512, is derived from one of the plates in the set (B. XIII, 54, not in the V&A), but this apparent relationship has been doubted (Zucker, 1984, p. 228). For a discussion of these images, see Brown, 70A and B, and Washington. The plate order follows Bartsch. Hind's third and fourth state of these prints involves the reworking of the plate as well as the addition of Salamanca's name.

Descriptive line

Grotesque ornament print, engraved by Nicoletto da Modena, Italy, second quarter of the 16th century.

Production Note

First published before 1522

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Engraving

Subjects depicted

Grotesques; Slaves; Tablets

Categories

Ornament prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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