Grotesques Sur Fond Noir

DSCF6747Etienne Delaune (1519-1583) Grotesques Sur Fond Noir, engravings, circa 1560, the set of 6 plates of Grotesques Sur Fond Noir (Oval Compositions of Divinities and Fables). Reference:  Robert-Dumesnil 371-376. Very good condition, tiny crease upper left margin (R-D 373); parts of collector’s stamps on several at margins; trimmed well outside of oval borders, archival mat.  Sizes: two prints are larger size (R-D 375-6 2 7/8 x 2 1/4 inches), the rest smaller (R-D 371-4 2 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches). Archival mounting.

Fine impressions of these rarities.

Provenance: unidentified collector’s stamps (not in Lugt) recto

The greatest achievement of the early 16th C. French School of engraving was in ornamental and architectural prints, and Delaune, trained as a goldsmith, was the pre-eminent master and leader of this school.  In this set we see depictions of Apollo, Mars and Hercules, as well as women with palms, women sitting, and a sacrificial altar; each in great detail in a gloriously ornamental context.