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Etching - The little book of architecture ruins
  • The little book of architecture ruins
    Thiry, Léonard
  • Enlarge image

The little book of architecture ruins

  • Object:

    Etching

  • Place of origin:

    Nuremberg (Printed)

  • Date:

    1550-1562 (Printed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Thiry, Léonard (Designer)
    Solis, Virgil, born 1514 - died 1562 (Printmaker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Etching

  • Credit Line:

    From the Lanna Collection.

  • Museum number:

    E.2856-1910

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case EO, shelf 41

This print is based on an original design by Léonard Thiry, and it is a reverse copy by Virgil Solis after Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau’s prints from 1550. Solis was a prolific printmaker, whose workshop produced ornament prints intended for furniture decoration, jewelry and so on, as well as biblical illustrations. Solis borrowed from German and Italian engravers; this example shows him borrowing from Du Cerceau, who was French. Solis produced popular prints, and the antique theme in this print is typical of the time.

Physical description

Etching.

Place of Origin

Nuremberg (Printed)

Date

1550-1562 (Printed)

Artist/maker

Thiry, Léonard (Designer)
Solis, Virgil, born 1514 - died 1562 (Printmaker)

Materials and Techniques

Etching

Dimensions

Height: 15.4 cm Cut to, Width: 10.3 cm Cut to

Object history note

From the Lanna collection (1107; Sr 6406).

Historical context note

This print belongs to a set of thirteen engravings by Virgil Solis which is referred to as ‘the little book of architecture ruins’ in The Illustrated Bartsch (vol. 19, part 1, pp. 161-167; B. 352a and B. 354 missing in the V&A collections). Solis actually copied Jacques Androuet Du Cerceau’s Duodecim Fragmenta structurae veteris published in 1550 in Orleans. Both Du Cerceau and Solis praise Léonard Thiry, the artist who made the original drawings. Thiry was a Flemish artist who worked in Fontainebleau with Fiorentino Rosso. It is not established whether he went to Rome; he could very well have been inspired by the many prints showing views of Rome that circulated at the time. The antique theme, and the taste for views of ruins were indeed widespread in the 16th century.

Solis was a prolific printmaker, whose Nuremberg workshop produced ornament prints intended for furniture decoration, jewellery and so on, as well as biblical illustrations. Solis borrowed from German, Italian and French engravers. In the first print (The Illustrated Bartsch, p. 161, no. 352a), he explains that he has copied this set because it was unavailable in Germany: ' I have realized that it would be for the common good and that of all art lovers, if I were to publish it [...], so that our country would be as fortunate as the Italians and the French'.

Descriptive line

Léonard Thiry. One of 8 plates from a suite of 12 views of ruins entitled 'The Little Book of Architectural Ruins'. Published by Virgil Solis, Nuremberg, 1550-1562.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

de Jong, M. and de Groot, I., Ornamentprenten in het Rijksprentenkabinet I, 15de & 16de eeuw, ‘s-Gravenhage, 1988, no. 580.
Peters, Jane S., ed. The Illustrated Bartsch, 19 (Part 1). German masters of the sixteenth century: Virgil Solis: Intaglio Prints and Woodcuts. New York: Abaris Books, 1985. No. 352-363.

Production Note

Reversed copy by Virgil Solis from a set engraved by Jacques Androuet Ducerceau after Léonard Thiry, published in 1550.

Materials

Printing ink

Techniques

Etching

Subjects depicted

Arch; Architecture; Ruins; Obelisks; Niches; Statues

Categories

Prints; Ornament prints

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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