Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Renaissance Figures

Giovanni Battista Scultori
David cutting off the head of Goliath
1540
engraving
National Galleries of Scotland

Georg Pencz
Vengeance of Queen Tomyris
1539
engraving
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

"Tomyris, when she found that Cyrus paid no heed to her advice, collected all the forces of her kingdom, and gave him battle.  Of all the combats in which the barbarians have engaged among themselves, I reckon this to have been the fiercest.  The following, as I understand, was the manner of it: First, the two armies stood apart and shot their arrows at each other; then, when their quivers were empty, they closed and fought hand-to-hand with lances and daggers; and thus they continued fighting for a length of time, neither choosing to give ground.  At length the Massagetai prevailed.  The greater part of the army of the Persians was destroyed and Cyrus himself fell, after reigning nine and twenty years.  Search was made among the slain by order of the queen for the body of Cyrus, and when it was found she took a skin, and, filling it full of human blood, she dipped the head of Cyrus in the gore, saying, as she thus insulted the corpse, "I live and have conquered you in fight, and yet by you am I ruined, for you took my son with guile; but thus I make good my threat, and give you your fill of blood."  Of the many different accounts which are given of the death of Cyrus, this which I have followed appears to me most worthy of credit."

– from the History of Herodotus, translated by George Rawlinson (1862)

Marcantonio Raimondi
Fall of Man
ca. 1500
engraving
National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa

Heinrich Aldegrever
Adam
1529
engraving
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Monogrammist SC
The Savage
1520
engraving
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Lucas van Haelwech after Hendrik Goltzius
Romulus and Remus with Wolf and River God
1599
drawing
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

attributed to Giovanni Battista Palumba
Leda and the Swan with infants Castor, Pollux, Helen,  and Clytemnestra
ca. 1500-1520
drawing (print study)
British Museum

Leda was the wife of King Tyndareus of Sparta.  In many accounts, she bore two mortal children to him – Castor and Clytemnestra (later the wife of Agamemnon).  Zeus, in the form of a swan, also impregnated Leda, with the result that she bore two other children who were immortal, Pollux and Helen (later the cause of the Trojan War).  Tyndareus and Zeus having fathered their children with Leda on the same night, the four were born at the same time, from two eggs. 

Anonymous Italian artist
Study of sleeping baby
ca. 1575-1600
drawing
Teylers Museum, Haarlem

Anonymous Italian artist
Draped female figure
ca. 1500-1600
drawing
Prado, Madrid

Anonymous Italian artist
Angel with lance
ca. 1550-1600
drawing
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Domenico Beccafumi
Two male nudes in a landscape
ca. 1537
engraving
National Gallery of Art, Washington DC

Domenico Beccafumi
Two male nudes in a landscape
ca. 1537
engraving with chiaroscuro woodcut
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Frans Crabbe
Christ as Man of Sorrows
before 1550
hand-colored engraving mounted in manuscript Book of Hours on vellum
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

Jacopo Bassano
St Jerome in the Wilderness
1562
oil on canvas
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Annibale Carracci
Head of an old woman
ca. 1590
oil on paper, mounted on panel
Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge