Three Putti Playing with an Ostrich

After Master of the Die (1525-1560), Three Putti Playing with an Ostrich, an anonymous reverse copy of the Master of the Die engraving after the design of Giovanni da Udine), c. 1534, cf.  Bartsch 33.  In very good condition, trimmed on or just inside of or outside of the borderline, 8 1/4 x 11 inches.

A very good impression.

This is a reverse copy after one of four prints based on a  set of four tapestries designed by Udine and commissioned by the Pope. The four finished tapistries, known as Playing Putti, hung in the Sala di Constantino in the Vatican.  Finished in 1521, they represent dreams of a Golden Age under the pontificate of Leo X.

The Playing Putti engravings were made by the Master of the Die,  an unidentified member of the studio of the famed Marcantonio Raimondi in Rome. This workshop specialized in making prints in collaboration with Raphael.  The engravings were sufficiently important to have been copied, in this case not with any fraudulent intent (after all, the copy is in reverse) but simply because the compositions proved so popular.