- Museum number
The Erythrean Sibyl; sitting on clouds, she is holding a sword in her right hand and an open book in her left. c.1480-90
- Production date
- 1480-1490 (circa)
Height: 179 millimetres
Width: 106 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The print belongs to a group of twenty-four 'Prophets' and twelve 'Sibyls' executed in a style called by Hind the 'Broad Manner' and now attributed to Francesco Rosselli; the group is based on the earlier series of the same subject engraved in the 'Fine Manner' by Baccio Baldini (for a fuller discussion of the issue see the entry for Hind C.II.11.B.II: P&D 1868-8-22-10).
The present engraving is the first state of the print, issued before it was reworked. Other examples of the first state are in Vienna; Ambrosiana, Milan (uncertain if first or second state); and in the Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris). The BM also possesses the third state of the print, heavily reworked (see P&D V.1.23).
The image is based on Baldini's 'Erythrean' Sibyl (Hind C.II.5.A and Mark J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, part 1, 1993, p. 205, no. 080). Rosselli altered the position of the inscriptions within the image (e.g. the Latin inscription is transferred from a scroll to the pages of an open book), the shape of the sword and the hood worn by the Sibyl, which is no longer shaded to simulate the colour black; moreover, the inscriptions deviate from Baldini's in the spelling of various words.
The Erythrean Sibyl - one of the most famous in the group - was believed to have predicted the Last Judgement.
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number