Platemark: 11.9 x 18.3 cm (4 11/16 x 7 3/16 in.); Sheet: 11.9 x 18.3 cm (4 11/16 x 7 3/16 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1931.205
Catalogue raisonné: Hind V(II).202.13 ; Passavant V.165.11 ; Le Blanc I.575.10 ; Ottley II.769.8
This artist's training as a cutter of gems and type punches prepared him well for the relatively new art of engraving, which required carving into a copperplate with a sharp instrument called a burin.
The Venetian artist Giulio Campagnola introduced the "dot manner," an engraving technique by which shading is created with dots and flicks produced with the point of the burin. This innovation allowed for a much greater range of tone and subtler gradations from dark to light. The effect imitated sfumato, a painting technique for creating soft atmospheric effects practiced by Venetian artists, such as Giorgione, at the time. The influence of and perhaps even the engraver’s collaboration with Giorgione is reflected in the extraordinary beauty and refinement of this rare early impression of Venus Reclining in a Landscape. The female nude reclining in a landscape was to become a distinctly Venetian subject in the 1500s.
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