Details — Click to read
Chiaroscuro woodcut from three blocks in dark brown, light brown and ochre
Bartsch XII, 29, 2 II/II; C. Karpinski, 1983, Illustrated Bartsch, vol. 48, p. 26, n. 2 (29), II/II.
mm 166 x 242
On the left Andreani’s monogram and the date ‘1555’.
A very nice impression, particularly fresh, with soft shades and white reliefs, in dark brown, light brown and ochre tones, with the borderline complete, rich of gaufrage on the verso, characteristic of the early and unwashed impressions.
On the left is depicted Mary with the Child on her knees, with the oldest of the Magi bowed down her feet. In the center, the second embraces Giuseppe while a servant offers a vase as a gift to the third of the Magi.
In the central part of the composition there is a staircase that conduct at the superior floor in which are visible the head of an ox and of a donkey. In the right side there is a camel followed by a caravan.
In 1605 Andrea Andreani realized a woodcut from this composition, and he placed his monogram and the date in the lower left side. The model for the chiaroscuro woodcut is a Parmigianino’s drawing that is conserved in Louvre (inv. N. 6377), Popham 1971, n. 358. The same composition inspires Schiavone, another lovers of Parmigianino works, who realized a woodcut with some variant compared to the prototype (Bartsch XVI,43, n.8).
A similar sheet, in the second state, was sold at Christie’s London in 1985 (see ‘Old Master Prints from Chatswort’, lot 116, 3th – December).
In the Uffizi are preserved two impressions with the Andreani’s monogram and the date on the left (inventory n. 90 and 95886).
The artist is mentioned by Vasari in the life of Marcantonio Raimondi: the writer inform us that, after Parmigianino death in 1540, Niccolò used the drawings of the Master as a model for his woodcuts.