Stories and myths from the Roman Empire, £8.99
Height: 210.000 mm
Width: 134.000 mm
PD 1868-8-22-55 (Bartsch 63.488)
Prints and Drawings
Marcantonio Raimondi, Man Climbing the Bank of a River, a copperplate engraving
Italy, around AD 1509
A male nude after Michelangelo
Michelangelo (1475-1564) had to abandon his
fresco of the Battle of
Cascina commissioned by the city of Florence
when he was summoned to Rome by Pope Julius II in 1505. Some four
years later Marcantonio Raimondi (about 1480-before 1534) saw the
Michelangelo's powerful nudes were developed from an established Florentine training of drawing nudes and from classical sculpture. His ability to draw the most complex poses from unusual angles was much admired. As the youth climbs up the riverbank, one leg is straight and the other bent. His torso is foreshortened as it leans away from us and to the right, while his head looks up and to the left, revealing only a 'lost' profile. The rhythms of the body are repeated and amplified by the taut muscles, although Raimondi's engraved marks cannot capture the subtlety of Michelangelo's chalk modelling.
The plate is signed on the lower right: IV.MI.AG.FL./.MAF. This can be deciphered: 'Invenit Michelangelo Florentini / Marcantonio fecit'; 'Invented by Michelangelo the Florentine / Marcantonio made it'. This is the first use of the term 'invenit' which distinguishes the creator of an image from the engraver, a practice which became standard in the following centuries.
D. Landau and P. Parshall, The Renaissance print 1470-155 (New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 1994)