- Museum number
Fighting beasts regarded by soldiers, after Antonio Pollaiuolo; two half-human figures - to the left a centaur and to the right a beast, half man and half lion - are lunging at one another with ball and chain weapons; three soldiers dressed in fantasy armour look on
- Production date
Height: 198 millimetres (trimmed)
Width: 320 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The engraving is one of the six known impressions of the subject; the others are in Paris, Berlin, Vienna (two impressions) and in the Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris).
The anonymous Florentine engraver responsible for this spatially inconsistent composition created a pastiche of different Pollaiuolo's works. He borrowed the axe-wielding warrior from the 'Battle of the Nude', turning him into a centaur-type beast and changing his axe to a ball and chain weapon on a pole. The pairs of soldiers on the l are lifted directly from Pollaiuolo's embroidered design for the 'Beheading of the Baptist' in the series of panels commissioned from the artist for a set of liturgical vestments to be used for services on major feast days in the Florentine Baptistery (c1466-80s; Museo dell'Opera del Duomo, Florence).
The style of the engraving is reminiscent of Lucantonio degli Uberti, a Florentine engraver and printmaker who worked especially in Venice.
The subject has been interpreted as a moralizing contrast between the bestial and rational aspects of man's nature (respectively personified by the two creatures fighting and the soldiers).
For a recent discussion of the print see the entry of Alison Wright in exh. cat., London, National Gallery, 'Renaissance Florence. The Art of the 1470s', 1999-2000, no. 67.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1999/2000 Oct-Jan, London, National Gallery, Renaissance Florence: The Art of the 1470s, no.67
2002 Aug-Oct, Cleveland Mus of Art, A Print in Focus: Antonio Pollaiuolo's Battle of the Nudes, no.9
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number