Marcantonio Raimondi (Italian, 1480 - 1527), "Ecce Homo" (Bartsch 603 i/iii) old master engraving, ca. 1505 to 1511 CE. An exceptional engraving by Marcantonio Raimondi (1480-1527) after Albrecht Dürer's small woodcut entitled "Passion", ca. 1512 (one of thirty-six Passion images), deemed to be the first state, depicting a dramatic episode of the passion of Christ. Raimondi was an Italian Renaissance master of engraving whose oeuvre disseminated the stylistic tenets of the High Renaissance throughout Europe, particularly the works of Raphael and Michaelangelo. There are two collector marks on the image. In the upper left corner of the front is stamped “RB” (representing Raimondi of Bologna - see more on Raimondi's biographical background below). The Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago has a Venus and Cupid print with this same "RB" collector mark. In the consignor's correspondence with Suzanne Karr Schmidt, Assistant Curator, she noted that the main resource for information is the Lugt collector mark database, which is now online (http://www.marquesdecollections.fr/detail.cfm/marque/9082). They did not have a solid attribution for the mark which was known by the 1880s; however, its owner may be one of several possibilities according to Schmidt. The second collector’s mark, on the reverse, is the signature of J. D. BÖHM (1794-1865), médailleur, sculpteur et graveur sur pierre, Vienne, - Estampes et dessins. Bohm’s collector’s seal is Lugt 1442. While not an exact match, the one on the engraving appears to be a variant.
Attesting to Raphael and Raimondi's mutual respect for one another, Raphael included a portrait of Raimondi in the Vatican fresco entitled "Expulson of Heliodorus" (1513). Raimondi created his finest engravings in the initial years following his work with Raphael, and this piece exemplifies work from this period. The composition demonstrates Raimondi's interest in idealized figures, clear evidence of Raphael's influence; however, it also demonstrates the influence of Northern Renaissance masters, particularly that of Albrecht Dürer, in the use of crosshatching in modeling, rounding, shading, and the contextualizing background. Raimondi copied more than seventy of Dürer's engravings and woodcuts, though not with consent which brought Dürer to bring suit against his admirer. In Raimondi's defense, copying was and continues to be a form of education for artists. The "RB" mark on the upper left corner of this piece most likely stands for Raimondi of Bologna. Raimondi was from Argine, near Bologna, and trained with the famous painter and goldsmith of Bologna, Francesco Raibolini (known as Francia) until about 1506 when he left for Venice. According to the great Renaissance biographer Vasari, Marcantonio quickly surpassed his teacher and went on to become the most significant printmaker of the High Renaissance. A very important piece with intriguing provenance by a pivotal figure in the history of art, double-matted and in a gilded modern frame under glass. Size: 5" L x 4" W (12.7 cm x 10.2 cm); framed 11.25" L x 10" W (28.6 cm x 25.4 cm)
Provenance: Ex-Private New Jersey collection acquired before 1990. "RB" collector's mark on upper right. The Department of Prints and Drawings at the Art Institute of Chicago has a Venus and Cupid print with this same "RB" collector mark. The second collector’s mark, on the reverse, is the signature of J. D. BÖHM (1794-1865), médailleur, sculpteur et graveur sur pierre, Vienne, - Estampes et dessins. Bohm’s collector’s seal is Lugt 1442. Bohm's collection was sold at his death in 1865: http://www.marquesdecollections.fr/detail.cfm/marque/7731/total/1. While there is no individual listing of this particular engraving, most of his Old Master engravings were sold in lots.
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