- Museum number
A leaping horseman with his right hand extended behind.
Chiaroscuro woodcut from two blocks in brown.
- Production date
Height: 235 millimetres
Width: 188 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- An impression with only the key block exists in P&D see 1837,0616.358. The following text is from Michael Bury 'The Print in Italy 1550-1620', BM 2001, no.131.
Pordenone's high reputation in the second half of the sixteenth century can be measured by the number of prints recording his compositions. The dramatic motif of the leaping horse was one that Pordenone used several times, most famously for the figure of Marcus Curtius on the façade of the Palazzo Martino d'Anna on the Grand Canal in Venice (Cohen, 1996, II, pp.709-14, no.79).
This is one of only three prints signed by Boldrini. Some scholars have felt that it must have been done by Boldrini in collaboration with Pordenone and therefore is to be dated before Pordenone's death in 1539 (Dreyer, 1972, p.56, no.30). Others have noted the strong relationship with the Venus of 1566 after Titian, the only dated work by Boldrini (Rosand and Muraro, 1976, p.243, no.72). The later date seems the most plausible.
If the later dating is correct it points to the continuing vitality of the chiaroscuro woodcut as a way of communicating significant visual inventions. Ugo da Carpi's St Jerome of 1516, after Titian, demonstrated the kind of freshness and expressive force achievable through the use of this medium (Rosand and Muraro, 1976, pp.92-93, no.6). The woodcut in general had, by the 1550s, begun to be less used in Venice, where there was a strong tendency to abandon it in favour of engraving and etching. However the chiaroscuro was evidently felt to have values that were not achievable by any other means; and this was true well beyond Venice, as may be judged by the amount of attention Vasari devoted to the medium (Vasari, 1906, I, pp.212-13).
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2001/2 Sep-Jan, BM, P&D, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
2002 Feb-Mar, New York, Miriam & Ira D Wallach AG, The Print in Italy
2002/3 Sep-Jan, Ottawa, NG of Canada, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
2003 Feb-Apr, Edinburgh, NG of Scotland, The Print in Italy 1550-1620
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number