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  • Object type

  • Museum number

    V,1.17

  • Description

    Daniel; sitting on a throne, holding and indicating an open book inscribed: 'POST EDOM ODAS VII ET LXII OCCIDETV XPS'; to the left and right of the figure the inscription: 'DANIELO PROFETA'. c.1470-80 Engraving

  • Producer name

  • School/style

  • Date

    • 1470-1480 (circa)
  • Materials

  • Technique

  • Dimensions

    • Height: 149 millimetres
    • Width: 108 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 'Fine Manner' and now attributed to Baccio Baldini; the complete set was adapted in a 'Broad Manner' series by Francesco Rosselli (for this set see the entry for Hind C.I.12.B.I: P&D 1845-8-25-400). The figures are shown seated on banks of clouds or thrones and chairs; their names are either inscribed on scrolls or isolated against the background and most of them wear exotic headgear and carry books or additional attributes. All thirty-six engravings include prophecies in the vernacular, located in the margins below the images; these are probably quoted by the text of a 'sacra rappresentazione' ascribed to the Florentine poet Feo Belcari and performed in 1471 at the church of St Felice in Piazza, on the occasion of Duke Galeazzo Maria Sforza's visit to Florence. The correspondence between the text of the play and the series of prints is not straightforward (see M. J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, part 1, 1993, pp. 160-1) since the printed version of Belcari's text includes twenty-one prophets and nine siblys, not twenty-four and twelve respectively in the engravings. It may well be that Baldini's engravings are closer to the original version of the play as his engravings follow soon after, and that the printed text from the end of the fifteenth century incorporates later changes. In spite of the inconsistencies it is generally assumed that Belcari's text is the literary source for the engravings, with their arrangement mirroring that of the theatrical production with two prophets alternating with one sibyl. Curiously the prints are not completed by a representation of the Annunciation as in Belcari's production (the prophetic inscriptions of the sibyls and prophets all relate to the Virgin Birth), but instead conclude with a pair of supplementary plates ('The Virgin and Child' and 'St Joseph') that compose a Nativity scene. The majority of the figures are derived from northern visual models, such as the series of engravings of the 'Apostles' and 'Evangelists' by the German Master E.S. (fl circa 1450-1467), the 'Passion' series by Martin Schongauer and some French or Burgundian patterns. However, other images are conceived in the spirit of contemporary Florentine painters such as Verrocchio, the Pollaiuolo brothers and the young Botticelli. The group is generally dated between 1470 to 1480. The series of twenty-four 'Prophets' engraved in the 'Fine Manner' exists in three states: the first state shows the print with the marginal verses at the bottom; Hind distinguished three variants of this state: the first variant (a) without numbers and the second one (b) with numbers scratched in upper l (in six instances the numbers are only known in pen and ink inscriptions); the second state shows the plates in reworked condition with their eight-line marginal verses cut away (no impression of the prophet 'Isaiah' of this state is known); the third state shows the plates further reworked and the fine shading largely worn away; all numbers were erased from the upper corners and different numbers were added at the lower r. The BM has three first state impressions (Hind nos. 11, 14, 20, the prophets Baruch, Joel and Haggai) - that originally belonged to the same set as the twenty-one impressions in Paris -, two second state impressions (Hind nos. 13 and 15, the prophets Daniel and Amos) and an almost complete set of the third one, lacking Hind nos. 23 and 24 (respectively the prophets Joshua and Isaiah); two reproductions illustrate these missing ones. For a fuller discussion of this set see A.M. Hind, 'Early Italian Engraving', I, London, 1938, pp. 153-161; M.J. Zucker, 'The Illustrated Bartsch, Commentary', vol. 24, part 1, 1993, pp. 159-164; 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.49. The present engraving is the second state of the print: the plate is reworked and the margin, with eight-line inscription, is cut away; the number 4 in the upper l corner has been erased and a squared pavement in perspective has been added. Examples of the first state are in Vienna, Paris and in the Rothschild collection (Louvre, Paris). The BM also possesses the third state of the print (P&D 1845-8-25-423) The figure of the prophet is a modified copy (in reverse) of the seated Pilate in Schongauer's 'Christ before Pilate' from the series of the Passion (Bartsch 14; Hollstein 24). According to Hind, the throne is generically similar to that in Botticelli's painting of 'Fortitude' of 1470 (Uffizi, Florence). The BM possesses the third state of the print, heavily reworked (see P&D 1845-8-25-423) and a reproduction of the first state.

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  • Bibliography

    • TIB 24.2403.064.S2 bibliographic details
    • Hind 1938-48 C.I.13.A.II bibliographic details
    • Bartsch XIII.166.13 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display (Italian XVc Mounted Roy)

  • Subjects

  • Associated names

  • Acquisition date

    1845

  • Department

    Prints & Drawings

  • Registration number

    V,1.17

Daniel; sitting on a throne, holding and indicating an open book inscribed "POST EDOM ODAS VII ET LXII OCCIDETV XPS"; to the l and r of the figure the inscription "DANIELO PROFETA".  c.1470-80  Engraving

Daniel; sitting on a throne, holding and indicating an open book inscribed "POST EDOM ODAS VII ET LXII OCCIDETV XPS"; to the l and r of the figure the inscription "DANIELO PROFETA". c.1470-80 Engraving

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