May 25, 2016

The Nativity

The Nativity


Giorgio Ghisi

(Italian, 1520–1582)

published by

Hieronymus Cock

after Agnolo Bronzino

(Italian, 1503–1572)


Support: Cream(1) laid paper

Overall: 67.5 x 45.6 cm (26 9/16 x 17 15/16 in.); Part 1: 32.9 x 45 cm (12 15/16 x 17 11/16 in.); Part 2: 34 x 45.6 cm (13 3/8 x 17 15/16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1986.233

Catalogue raisonné: Lewis&Boorsch 14

State: ii/ii (top plate) ; iv/iv (bottom plate)



The inscriptions praise Mary, the mother of Jesus Christ, emphasizing the great joys and inevitable sorrows that she is to endure in witnessing her son's life and death. After spending about five years in Rome, Ghisi left Italy around 1550 for Antwerp, the major commercial center in the Netherlands. There he worked with Hieronymus Cock (about 1510–1570), founder of the largest and best-known print publishing establishment in northern Europe, called The Four Winds. This print reproduces a painting of similar size by the artist Agnolo Bronzino (1513–1572), painted in the late 1530s for Filippo d'Averardo Salviati of Florence. Making a print based on a work belonging to a private individual was an unusual practice during the 16th century.

See also
PR - Engraving
Type of artwork: 

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