Details: SADELER, Aegidius (ca.1568-1629) after Hans VON AACHEN (1552-1615). Petronia Vitellii Prima Uxor [Petronia Wife of Vitellius]. [Pl. IX]. Venice: Marcus Sadeler, ca. 1640. Engraving. State iii/iv with inscription "Marcus Sadeler's excudit" erased. Very good condition apart from some light soiling and a skillfully repaired small loss at the edge of the top margin. Trimmed to within plate mark on all sides. Sheet size: 13 7/8 x 9 1/2 inches.
A finely detailed portrait of Empress Petronia, the wife of Roman Emperor Aulus Vitellius (AD 15-69).
This stunning plate belongs to an impressive collection of distinguished portraits of eminent Roman Emperors and Empresses. The prints in this set depicting the classically posed Emperors are based on a series of lost paintings Titian executed between 1536 and 1540 for the "Gabinetto dei Cesari" of Duke Federigo Gonzaga of Mantua. The companion portraits of the lavishly attired Roman Empresses were not, however, engraved after original works by Titian. The scholar Harold Wethey surmises that these prints "must be Sadeler's own invention, since they have nothing to do with Titian," but a more plausible explanation is that were most likely engraved after paintings by Hans von Aachen (1552-1615) and Bartholomeus Spranger (1546-1611), official artists of the Bohemian court of Rudolf II. (The Paintings of Titian, II, pp. 235-6)
Born into a prolific and accomplished family of Flemish artists, Aegidius Sadeler II was a talented engraver and print publisher in his own right. He was most likely trained by his uncles, Jan and Raphael Sadeler I, and is also recorded as having been a member of the Antwerp Guild. During the early part of his career, he traveled extensively throughout Germany, Austria, and Italy. In 1597, he settled in Prague, where Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II appointed him imperial engraver, a prestigious position he maintained under the reign of Rudolf's successors Mathias and Ferdinand II. Sadeler executed several individual prints and a number of series after artists including Marten de Vos, Christoph Schwarz, and Hans von Aachen.
Cf. Le Blanc, Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, II, p. 397. nos. 143-167; cf. Hollstein, Dutch and Flemish Etchings Engravings Woodcuts, XXI (Amsterdam 1980), p. 77, nos. 346-70; cf. Wethey, The Paintings of Titian (1975).
Condition / Notes:
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