Lot 60: NICOLAS BEATRIZET The River God Nile.
03 November 2016
New York, NY, USALive Auction
The River God Nile.
Engraving, circa 1545. 330x554 mm; 13x21 3/4 inches. Circular watermark. Trimmed on or just inside the plate mark. A very good impression of this extremely scarce engraving, with strong contrasts.
We have found only 3 other impressions at auction in the past 30 years; there is a similar impression in the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund, 2006.34.1).
Beatrizet (1515-circa 1565) based this engraving on a Roman free-standing sculpture now in the Museo Pio-Clementino, Musei Vaticani, Vatican City. The god of the Nile is shown reclining in the waters of his river, resting his arm on the back of the Sphinx, beside a cornucopia brimming with fruit. He is covered with infant-like African Pygmies (the missing heads of some have been restored in the statue as it is seen today). Bartsch 95.