Lot 7: CRISTOFANO DI MICHELE MARTINI, IL ROBETTA Adoration of the Magi.

Swann Auction Galleries

November 3, 2016
New York, NY, US

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Description: CRISTOFANO DI MICHELE MARTINI, IL ROBETTA
Adoration of the Magi.

Engraving, circa 1496-1500. 303x280 mm; 12x11 1/8 inches, thread margins. Anchor in a circle with the initials LM surmounted by a star watermark (Briquet 478-529, which dates to the early 16th century). A brilliant, richly-inked and early impression.

According to Levenson, this print is based on Filippino Lippi's painting of the same subject which dates from 1496 and is now in the Uffizi, Florence. Robetta also adopted passages from other contemporaneous prints. The hat above his signature, for instance, is copied from Schongauer's Adoration of the Magi (Lehrs 6), as are the heads of the ox and ass to the viewer's right of the Virgin and Child. Meanwhile, the landscape derives from prints by Dürer and the sky is based on his Virgin and Child with the Monkey (see lot 9, Bartsch 42) and Sea Monster (Bartsch 71). The original copper plate for this engraving is now in the British Museum and many extant impressions were printed during the 18th/19th centuries; early printings such as the current work are exceedingly scarce. Hind 10; Levenson, et al., Early Italian Engravings from the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, 1973, p. 296, no. 118.
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