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print

  • Object type

  • Museum number

    1895,0915.95

  • Description

    Louis IX of France presenting a spine from the Crown of Thorns to Bartolomeo da Vicenza; the king, kneeling within an elaborate frame and accompanied by two attendants, presents a thorn from the Crown to a kneeling bishop accompanied by two friars; in the centre, upon an altar, is the Crown of Thorns and above the scene of the 'Crowning with Thorns' surmounted by the emblem of a mother pelican piercing her breast to feed her young; 19thC re-strike. c.1490 Engraving

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  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1482 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 198 millimetres
    • Width: 134 millimetres
  • Curator's comments

    This modern impression was catalogued by Hind among a group of miscellaneous north Italian prints from about 1460-1500. The original plate seems to have been in existence until 1890, when it appeared in the sale of the Eugéne Piot collection. Other impressions of the print are in the Kunsthalle, Brussels; in the Ambrosiana, Milan; Parma (Biblioteca Palatina). The BM has another modern impression of the print (P&D 1845-8-25-660). The subject depicts the king of France Louis IX presenting a spine from the Crown of Thorns - purchased in 1238 from Baldwin II (the last Latin emperor of Costantinople) - to the diplomat Bartolomeo da Breganze, bishop of Vicenza; the event took place in Paris in 1259. Back in Vicenza the year after, the bishop started to erect the church of St Corona to serve as a shrine for his acquisition. Considering the local interest of the subject, the print may have been executed in Vicenza, possibly to coincide with the completion in 1482 of the crypt of St Corona, built to house the holy spine; or with the commission, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, of the high altarpiece of the church. Hind noted that the engraving is stylistically comparable to the archaic 'Virgin and Child enthroned with the prophets Elijah and Elisha, and four Saints' by Giovanni Antonio da Brescia (M. J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 25, part 2, 1984, p. 309, no. 002). The decorative vocabulary of the frame is found in works of Benedetto Montagna, the leading Vicentine artist of the fifteenth-early sixteenth century. The representation of a mother pelican piercing her breast to feed her young is a symbol of Christ's own sacrifice.

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  • Bibliography

    • TIB 24.2409.021 bibliographic details
    • Hind 1938-48 E.III.46 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian XVc Mounted Roy)

  • Exhibition history

    2011 23 June-9 Oct, London, BM, Treasures of Heaven

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date

    1895

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    1895,0915.95

Louis IX of France presenting a spine from the Crown of Thorns to Bartolomeo da Vicenza; the king, kneeling within an elaborate frame and accompanied by two attendants, presents a thorn from the Crown to a kneeling bishop accompanied by two friars; in the centre, upon an altar, is the Crown of Thorns and above the scene of the 'Crowning with Thorns' surmounted by the emblem of a mother pelican piercing her breast to feed her young; 19thC re-strike.  c.1490  Engraving

Louis IX of France presenting a spine from the Crown of Thorns to Bartolomeo da Vicenza; the king, kneeling within an elaborate frame and accompanied by two attendants, presents a thorn from the Crown to a kneeling bishop accompanied by two friars; in the centre, upon an altar, is the Crown of Thorns and above the scene of the 'Crowning with Thorns' surmounted by the emblem of a mother pelican piercing her breast to feed her young; 19thC re-strike. c.1490 Engraving

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