Trophies Including a Helmeted Woman

Enea Vico - Trophies Including a Helmeted Woman

Enea Vico (1523-1567) engraving, Trophies Including a Helmeted Woman, 1550, Bartsch 442, with the name of the publisher Ant[onio] Lafreri at bottom, first state (of 2) before numbers.  Very good condition,  with small margins all around,  archival matting, 10 x 6 7/8  inches.

A fine, fresh impression, the trophies in two parallel piles, the right side featuring ferocious birds, or at least winged creatures, as well as the helmeted woman; the left side has a pile of armor, weird animal and human faces, shields, and a bit of weaponry as well.

Provenance: Furstich Waldburg Wolfegg’sches Kupferstichkabinett (Lugt 2542).

The fine impressions of Vico’s Trophy series, such as this example, are of astonishing clarity and brilliance. This sort of showmanship was until recently discounted as lacking in original draughtsmanship or inventiveness, but recent work (as exemplified in the British Museum exhibit The Print in Italy, 1550-1620), is reawakening enthusiasm for Italian prints of this period.

In the December 2002 issue of The Print Quarterly Rosemary Mulcahy writes that “Enea Vico da Parma was the outstanding printmaker of his generation.” She goes on to quote Vasari, who devoted a substantial entry to Vico in his Lives: “many others have engaged in copper engraving, but have not attained such perfection.”

Vico made a range of prints, including archaeological excursions and designs such as this one, and also statues, gems, vases, and some portraits.