Trophy With A Breast Plate Leaning Toward the Left

Vico - Trophy with a Breast Plate Leaning Toward the Left

Enea Vico (1523-1567) engraving, Trophy With a Breas Plate Leaning Toward the Left, 1550, Bartsch 444, with the name of the publisher Ant[onio] Lafreri at bottom, first state (of 2) before numbers.  Good condition,  with small margins all around,  archival matting, 10 x 7  inches.

A fine, fresh impression.  A single stack of weird beasts, arms, armor, and shields.

On laid paper with a Ladder in a Circle watermark.

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.