definizione: stampa


identificazione: RAFFAELLO E L'AMATA
titolo parallelo: Raphael and his Mistress
titolo: La conversazione



sec. XVI, prima metà
1520 ca. - 1527 ca.



stato unico


xilografia; chiaroscuro; mm 174 x 138 ca.,
materia del supporto: carta






tipologia: indicazione di responsabilità
tecnica di scrittura: a stampa
tipo di caratteri: lettere capitali
trascrizione: RAPHAEL VRBINAS

tipologia: indicazione di responsabilità
tecnica di scrittura: a stampa
tipo di caratteri: lettere capitali
trascrizione: PER VGO DA CARPI



Chiaroscuro woodcut from 3 blocks, light gray/gray/black
Inscriptions: “RAPHAEL VRBINAS” and “PER VGO DA CARPI” in the lightest block
State: only

Fancifully described by Bartsch as Raphael conversing with his mistress, the subject of this enigmatic print evades clear interpretation. Seated on a low stool, a woman with her chin resting on her hand listens attentively to the man standing before her. The figures, both of whom appear in ancient dress, have been identified as Ulysses (bearded and wearing a cap and short tunic) and the allegorical figure of Fortune (her foot on a ball; Artioli 1901, 121, cited in Trotter 1974), or alternatively as Aeneas consulting the Cumaean Sibyl (Trotter 1974). [NB: for new interpretation of the subject, see Parshall 2019]. Their intimate exchange takes place in a spare architectural setting, with a darkened opening to the right. Light from an unseen source models the draped figures and casts dramatic shadows onto the bare walls. This same source illuminates the inscribed frame, extending the illusionism of the central composition. The effect is that of an ancient bas-relief, especially when seen in the majority of impressions printed in a gray or light brown palette (a dozen impressions have been recorded in these palettes, including in Berlin 307-38; Ashmolean WA 1863.1694, WA 1863.1695, WA 1863.1696, WA 1918.10; GDSU 95884; Marucelliana stampe vol. 3, no. 58; MFA 64.1126; Windsor Ruland B.II.2; Albertina DG2002/322; and Rijksmuseum RP-P-OB-31.087 and RP-P-OB-31.088). The present impression is exceptional in its use of a blue palette, in which a translucent gray mid-tone is printed over a light blue tone block (another impression in a blue palette is Städel 45407).

Raphael is here credited with the design, but no specific source has been identified. Johnson noted an affinity between the figure of the mistress and Marcantonio Raimondi's Woman Meditating (B.XIV.332.443; Johnson 1982), whereas Oberhuber and Gnann discussed this design in relation to the Virgin and Child metalpoint drawings at Oxford and Chatsworth (Oberhuber/ Gnann 1999). Despite the difference in scale, Raphael and His Mistress displays analogous design and cutting strategies to Aeneas and Anchises. Both compositions are constructed from broad fields of color and white highlights with minimal recourse to contour lines. The figural forms are outlined and set in relief against dark grounds. Johnson dated the print close to Descent from the Cross and David and Goliath, as all three feature similar illusionistic frames, and placed it before Death of Ananias and Aeneas and Anchises. The one watermark recorded in Raphael and His Mistress is unlike any found in other prints by Ugo and thus is inconclusive in dating this print (the only complete watermark recorded is a Head of a Dragon? in a Circle, 4.5 cm, in Berlin 307-38 and Ashmolean WA 1863.1695. Only partial watermarks have been recorded on others). While negative evidence is suggestive, at best, it nevertheless bears mentioning that the Crossbow in a Circle Surmounted by a Star watermark associated with Ugo's prints from around 1517–18, including Descent from the Cross, has not been noted in either Raphael and His Mistress or David and Goliath (First state, Munich 67022, and early second state impressions of David and Goliath, Ashmolean WA 1863.1691 and Berlin 277-38, bear a Siren in a Circle watermark, 4.5 cm).

Just over a dozen impressions of Raphael and His Mistress have been recorded, and there appear not to have been any late printings. The composition was copied by an unidentified printmaker in reverse in a four-block chiaroscuro woodcut of larger dimensions (B.XII.141.3). Notably, the copy survives in greater numbers than
the original and shares a publishing history with late printings of Sibyl Reading attributed to Ugo and Antonio da Trento's Nude Man Seen from Behind (a number of impressions of these prints are found in similar oily brown ink on paper with a seventeenth-century Crown Surmounted by a Star in a Circle watermark, 4.0 cm: Anonymous copy after Ugo da Carpi, Raphael and His Mistress, MFA 64.1129 and MMA 33.52.30; attributed to Ugo da Carpi, Sibyl Reading, MFA P1688 and MMA 2012.136.336; Antonio da Trento, Nude Man Seen from Behind, EnsBA Est Mas 63 and V&A E.287-90. ). This publishing history, together with the watermark evidence, places the execution of the anonymous print in Italy. Further, the copy can be dated to the sixteenth century based on the inclusion of an impression in the Escorial collection (Escorial 28-II-1, fol. 33. The Escorial collection was formed in the second half of the sixteenth century for the library of Philip II; see McDonald 1998).

Naoko Takahatake, The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, exhibition catalogue, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, June-September 2018, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C, October 2018-January 2019, DelMonico Books/Prestel, Munich-London-New York, 2018, pp. 91-92.

Other impressions in light gray/gray/black:

-Berlin 307-38
-BM 1895,0617.90: https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/object/P_1895-0617-90
-Ashmolean WA 1863.1694: http://collections.ashmolean.org/object/292010
-Ashmolean WA 1863.1695: http://collections.ashmolean.org/object/291995
-Ashmolean WA 1863.1696: http://collections.ashmolean.org/object/292021
-Ashmolean WA 1918.10: http://collections.ashmolean.org/object/291996
-GDSU 95884
-MFA Boston 64.1126: https://www.mfa.org/collections/object/raphael-and-his-mistress-167907
-Windsor Ruland B.II.2
-Albertina DG2002/322: https://sammlungenonline.albertina.at/m/?query=search=/record/objectnumbersearch=[DG2002%2f322]&showtype=record
-Rijksmuseum RP-P-OB-31.088: http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.51445
-Marucelliana stampe vol. 3, no. 58

Impressions in light blue/gray/black:

-Frankfurt Städel 45407
-MMA 1922, 22.73.3-27: https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/359855


tipologia: fotografia digitale
ente proprietario: Amsterdam, Rijksmuseum ©
note: Creative Commons


Bartsch A., Le peintre graveur, Vienne, 1803-1821, v. XII, p. 140, n. 2


Trotter W.H., Chiaroscuro woodcuts of the circles of Raphael and Parmigianino a study in reproductive graphics, The Univ. of North Carolina, 1974, pp. 82-83
Johnson J., "I chiaroscuri di Ugo da Carpi", in Print Collector - Il conoscitore di stampe, Milano, 1982, p. 56, n. 10
McDonald M. P., "The print collection of Philip II ate the Escorial", in Print Quarterly, London, 1998, XV, 1998, pp. 15-35, pp. 15-35
Oberhuber K./ Gnann A., Roma e lo stile classico di Raffaello 1515-1527, Milano, 1999, p. 197, n. 131
Takahatake N., The Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy, Los Angeles, 2018, pp. 91-92, n. 18 (Takahatake N.), p. 91 
Parshall P.W., "Ugo da Carpi, Raphael and his mistress and The Odyssey a reinterpretation", in Print Quarterly, London, 2019, XXXVI, 2019, pp. 160-162, pp. 160-162


Chiaroscuro Woodcut in Renaissance Italy Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, CA., June - September 2018 National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., October 2018 - January 2019, 2018-2019


Takahatake N., 2020
Takahatake N., Atlante delle xilografie italiane del Rinascimento, ALU.0952.1, https://archivi.cini.it/storiaarte/detail/45794/stampa-45794.html
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