- Museum number
Judith and Holofernes; in the centre Judith holding a lowered sword in her right hand and in her left the severed head of Holofernes; behind his dead body; circular format. c.1465-80
- Production date
- 1465-1480 (circa)
Diameter: 115 millimetres (circular)
- Curator's comments
- This unique impression is from a group of twenty-four engravings known as the 'Otto Prints' after the name of their XVIIIc owner Ernst Peter Otto. Seventeen of these are in the BM's collection. To this group have been added on stylistic grounds a further eighteen. Hind listed all the Otto prints among his so-called anonymous Florentine 'Fine Manner' group, a category of works that modern scholars have generally assigned to the Florentine goldsmith Baccio Baldini or his studio and to date from around 1465-80 (for discussion of the attribution and dating see Mark J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, Part 1, 1993, pp. 127-9). The entire set were probably destined for the same use as decoration to be pasted onto circular or oval boxes or caskets - toilet or jewel boxes and the like. The patrician nature of the audience for which they were intended is indicated by the inclusion of empty coat-of-arms in seven of the group, evidently to be filled in by the buyer. This type of prints attests the diffusion of poetic and chivalric subjects like those treated in allegorical paintings by Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Botticelli and other Florentine painters of the period.
The present work is based on a larger (diam, 135 mm.) treatment of the subject (Hind, A.IV.1; TIB .010 gives a list of impressions). Hind noted that the composition (notably the dead body of Holofernes) is broadly related to the drawing of 'David and Goliath' in the 'Florentine Picture-Chronicle', an album of pen-and-ink drawings in the BM also believed to be the product of Baldini's studio (f. 46v; see B. Degenhart, A. Schmitt, 'Corpus der italienischen Zeichnungen 1300-1450, Teil I: Sud-und Mittelitalien', 4, Berlin, 1968; pl. 427). For a recent entry on the the print see A. Wright, in exh. cat., London, National Gallery, 'Renaissance Florence. The Art of the 1470s', 1999-2000, no. 59.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1999/2000 Oct-Jan, London, National Gallery, 'Renaissance Florence. The Art of the 1470s', no.59
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- One of 6 'Otto' prints purchased at the Otto sale, for a total of £151 16s (including Evans's commission)
Provenance: Baron Philippe de Stosch (1731-1757); Wilhelm Muzel; Ernst Peter Otto (Leipzig, 1783); Klauss Otto (Leipzig, Weigel, 1852).
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number