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Pan spying from behind a bush at right, watching the nymph Syrinx, nude, seated on a rock, combing her hair
- Production date
Height: 271 millimetres
Width: 173 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- From Michael Bury, 'The Print in Italy 1550-1620', BM 2001 cat.82:
The purchase of old plates and their reissuing in a recut form, their worn lines strengthened, was very common in this period as it continued to be in later periods. Copperplates were valuable commodities and their life could be dramatically extended by recutting. Many engravers in their early years probably earned money and gained experience by 'refreshing' plates for printers and print dealers. Villamena was known to have done this and Bartsch may well have been right to attribute to him the work on this plate. It may however be significant that Mariette, although noting the retouched states of the print, did not ascribe those retouchings to Villamena (Mariette, Abecedario IV, p.244).
Antonio Salamanca, a print dealer in Rome until his death in 1562, acquired many plates that orginated in the circle of Raphael. However the style of the reworking imports a slightly swelling line into the main areas of modelling: this can be seen especially clearly in the figure of Pan. As the use of the swelling line is seen only from the later 1560s, this would suggest that this state of the plate postdates Salamanca's death.
The use of the swelling line not only renewed the plate, but also brought it more into line with later sixteenth-century taste. It may also be noted that the opportunity has been taken to lessen the explicit eroticism of the image by eliminating Pan's erect penis.
ADDENDUM 2005: Michael Bury now regards this as being a copy of Bartsch XIV.245.325 rather than a later state. See comment for 1863,0725.1545
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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