- Museum number
Lion, lioness and dragon fighting in a wooded landscape by the sea, after Leonardo da Vinci; signed lower centre: 'LAF'. c.1510
- Production date
- 1510 (circa)
Height: 218 millimetres
Width: 310 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- This engraving is a mature work of the Florentine woodcutter and engraver Lucantonio degli Uberti.
Active in Venice during the first two decades of the sixteenth century, Lucantonio engraved numerous woodcut book illustrations bearing one of the 17 variations of his monogram. Among his most famous works in this medium are the edition (circa 1517) in nine blocks of Titian's woodcut 'Triumph of Christ' and his copy of Pollaiuolo's 'Battle of the Nudes' (BM, P&D 1927-6-14-96). He returned to Florence possibly around the mid-16th century, where he executed in 1557 a woodcut entitled the 'Historia di S. Antonio di Padova'. Apart from his woodcuts, a further seven copper engravings, six of them inscribed with Lucantonio's monogram, have traditionally been attributed to him. His graphic style is typically that of crosshatching shading, and his works show the inspiration of painters of an earlier generation like Perugino, Leonardo da Vinci as well as printmakers such as Marcantonio Raimondi and Albrecht Dürer.
For a discussion of Lucantonio's oeuvre see A.M. Hind, 'Early Italian Engraving', I, London, 1938, pp. 211-212; G. Patellani, 'Lucantonio degli Uberti', "Print Collector", 9, 1974, pp. 6-15; M. J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 25, part 2, 1984, pp. 517-519; F. Benvenuti, "Lucantonio degli Uberti", in 'The Dictionary of Art', no. 31, 1996, p. 511; G. Lambert, Les Premières Gravures Italiennes quattrocento-début de cinquecento, Inventaire de la collection du department des Estampes et de la Photographie, Paris, 1999, p. 122.
The engraving is based on a composition by Leonardo da Vinci preserved in two drawn copies in Frankfurt and in the Uffizi (Florence). Leonardo's lost drawing was also the source for engravings by an anonymous northern Italian artist (School of Leoanrdo, Hind II, no. 5) and by Giovanni Antonio da Brescia (the printmaker formerly known as Zoan Andrea). From the latter's engraving the present one may derive. Lucantonio elaborated the design of the dragon's wings and introduced the figure of the lioness, modifying the position of the dragon. He also introduced the monstrous fish in the lower l corner.
Another impression of the print is in Paris.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number