Art

Madonna Adored by Saints of the Dominican Order

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Italian (c. 1490 - after 1536)
Madonna Adored by Saints of the Dominican Order, c. 1516 - 1540s
Print
Italian
,
16th century
Engraving, printed à la poupée in red and black ink
sheet: 39.8 x 22.9 cm (15 11/16 x 9 in.)
B. 112 (OB 14, Ramondi)
,
ii
Harvard Art Museums/Fogg Museum, Anonymous Fund for the Acquisition of Prints Older than 150 Years
, 2007.32
Commentary
This engraving is the earliest known example of an incised copper plate being printed à la poupée. (Ad Stijnman, a scientist at the Nederlands Instituut Collectie, identified the inks as characteristic of the early modern period, although he can't say with certainty when the engraving was printed. The paper is also typical of the sixteenth century.) The technique of printing in color à la poupée was perfected in the second half of the seventeenth century by the Netherlandish artist, Johannes Teyler, and examples of his color printing remain quite rare (although the Fogg has two in its collection). For this engraving, the printer inked in red the lines comprising the figures of the Virgin and Child, and then inked in blue the background architecture and the Dominican saints who surround her, thereby making mother and child the most emphatic elements of the composition. Such a print most likely had a domestic devotional function. Veneziano, the engraver of the composition, was an active member of Marcantonio Raimondi's print workshop which produced reproductive engravings, many after drawings and paintings by Raphael. This unusual printing technique may have been an experiment in the production of a print that was intended to resemble a colored drawing.
Marks
inscription: verso: old collector's annotations in pencil and pen and brown ink
Bibliography
Harvard University Art Museums, Harvard University Art Museums Annual Report 2006-7, (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 26, ill.

Stephan Wolohojian, ed., Harvard Art Museum Handbook, Harvard Art Museum (Cambridge, MA, 2008), p. 78, repr.