Portrait of Virgil Solis

Print
1562 (made)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Balthasar Jenichen made this portrait of artist and printmaker Virgil Solis in the year of Solis's death. Jenichen was a journeyman printer and painter who worked in Solis' workshop and took over the business after his master's death. This image depicts Solis as an engraver. He is holding a burin and a metal plate engraved with a design similar to playing cards that he issued. In front of him on the bench are his tools, including a burin, a sharpening stone and a double-ended etching needle.

Though cut off from this print, an epitaph below found on other examples reads like an advert. It was perhaps used as such since the workshop continued to use Solis' name and his plates. The inscription describes Solis' various activities; engraving, etching and drawing for woodcuts, as well as illuminating and painting.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Engraving
Brief Description
A portrait of the 16th century printmaker, Virgil Solis, by Balthasar Jenichen, Nuremberg, 1562 .
Physical Description
A small engraving, showing a bearded man engraving with engraving tools on a workbench including two burins (one held in his hand), a double-ended etching needle and a sharpening stone. Text originally below has been cut off from this impression.
Dimensions
  • Height: 10cm
  • Width: 7.6cm
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'B. I.' (B on the middle left, I (J) on the middle right.)
  • [two monograms for V.S.} (Monograms; V.S on both top right and top left.)
Subjects depicted
Summary
Balthasar Jenichen made this portrait of artist and printmaker Virgil Solis in the year of Solis's death. Jenichen was a journeyman printer and painter who worked in Solis' workshop and took over the business after his master's death. This image depicts Solis as an engraver. He is holding a burin and a metal plate engraved with a design similar to playing cards that he issued. In front of him on the bench are his tools, including a burin, a sharpening stone and a double-ended etching needle.



Though cut off from this print, an epitaph below found on other examples reads like an advert. It was perhaps used as such since the workshop continued to use Solis' name and his plates. The inscription describes Solis' various activities; engraving, etching and drawing for woodcuts, as well as illuminating and painting.
Bibliographic References
  • Bartsch, Adam von, 1757-1821. The illustrated Bartsch. New York : Abaris Books, 1978-
  • Hollstein, F. W. H. German engravings, etchings, and woodcuts, ca. 1400-1700. Amsterdam : M. Hertzberger, 1954-
  • Hirth, G. Kulturgeschichtliches Bilderbuch, II, no 1066.
  • Nagler, G.K. Die Monogrammisten.
  • Ottley, no. 113
  • Schestag 1871, 118
  • Victoria and Albert Museum, Department of Engraving, Illustration and Design and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1926, London: Board of Education, 1927.
Collection
Accession Number
E.1234-1926

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record createdJanuary 13, 2004
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