Woodcut printed from four blocks, on four sheets of paper (overall dimensions 808 × 1071 mm) View larger
 Woodcut printed from four blocks, on four sheets of paper (overall dimensions 808 × 1071 mm)
Carpi (Ugo da), c. 1480-1532

Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham

[Venice], c. 1511-1515

Rare and impressive multi-block woodcut representing the biblical story of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, executed by Ugo da Carpi in Venice circa 1515, in four sections on four sheets of paper. When the sheet edges are joined (as dictated by the composition), the print measures about 80 × 107 cm (about 31 × 42 inches). At least eight editions of the print were issued, all without date. The earliest was published by Bernardino Benalio, who on 9 February 1515 had applied for a privilege to print three books and an unspecified number of prints, including ‘la hystoria del sacrifitio de abraham’. The first three editions are known by unique impressions (in Berlin, Gotha, and Chatsworth respectively); our impression is from the fourth edition, probably printed c. 1546–1549, shortly after the death of Bernardino Benalio, and a presumed sale of his shop materials. Six complete impressions of the fourth edition are recorded in public collections (Berlin, Boston, Hamburg, London, Paris, Vienna); the last impression seen on the market was sold by C.G. Boerner in 1933 (Auktion 183, lot 1088).

The print is believed to originate from a design by Titian, who was working in the same period on another large-scale narrative woodcut, ‘The Submersion of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea’ (on twelve blocks and over two metres wide).  The ‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham’ was subsequently issued (fifth, sixth and seventh editions) with Titian’s name added on the cartouche, but it is uncertain whether this occurred during the painter’s lifetime (c. 1488/1490–1576).

Subjects
Prints - Artists, Italian - Carpi (Ugo da), c. 1480-1532
Authors/Creators
Carpi, Ugo da, c. 1480-1532
Artists/Illustrators
Carpi, Ugo da, c. 1480-1532
Titian, c. 1488-1576
Other names
Benalio, Bernardino, active 1483-1543

Carpi, Ugo da
Carpi c. 1480 – 1532 Bologna

Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham

[Venice], c. 15111515

woodcut, printed from four blocks on four sheets of paper (overall dimensions 808 × 1071 mm), fourth edition (of eight?), lettered in the upper left sheet (block 1) ‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham’, signed by the printmaker ‘vgo’ on leaf of tree stump of the upper right sheet (block 2),with narrow margins, trimmed along or just into the borderline in places. Individual sheet dimensions: landscape with a tower (block 1), 406/408 × 524/525 mm; the sacrifice (block 2), 405/407 × 534/538 mm; on the road to Moriah (block 3), 397/399 × 526/529 mm; landscape (block 4), 397/400 × 536/542 mm. Without watermarks.

provenance old inscriptions washed from verso of sheet 1 and lower margin of sheet 4 – [by repute, Princess Maria Christina of Bourbon-Two Sicilies (1877–1947); by descent] – with Librería José Porrúa Turanzas, sa, Madrid – Librairie Clavreuil, Paris

Very good, uniform impressions, all four blocks showing the wormholes usual in impressions of this edition (some with pen and ink infills). The lower left corner of the bottom left sheet (block 3) made up at an early date with new paper, and the design improvised in pen and ink; smaller losses along the left margin of the bottom right sheet (block 4) likewise made up and touched with pen and ink, various minor repairs along former centre creases. Overall, in very good condition for a composition of such large dimensions.

The four sheets recently hinged together onto acid-free museum board.

Rare and impressive multi-block woodcut representing the biblical story of Abraham’s attempted sacrifice of Isaac, executed by Ugo da Carpi in Venice circa 1515, in four sections on four sheets of paper. When the sheet edges are joined (as dictated by the composition), the print measures about 80 × 1.07 cm (about 31 × 42 inches).

Landscape with a tower (block 1), 406/408 × 524/525 mm

The sacrifice (block 2), 405/407 × 534/538 mm

On the road to Moriah (block 3), 397/399 × 526/529 mm

Landscape (block 4), 397/400 × 536/542 mm

The story is depicted as it is told in the Bible (Genesis 22: 1–19), except for the anomaly of a goat caught in the thicket (instead of a ram). Isaac kneels on a pyre in a wooded landscape; Abraham stands at left, holding a sword in his right hand, ready to strike, his eyes uplifted to an angel hovering above, who prevents the sacrifice. In a foreground scene (block 3), Abraham instructs his two servants to stay with the ass, while he and Isaac proceed to Moriah: Abraham is showing a sense of urgency; Isaac is stooping under the weight of the wood for his sacrifice.

The print is believed to originate from a design by Titian, who was working in the same period on another large-scale narrative woodcut, ‘The Submersion of Pharaoh’s army in the Red Sea’ (on twelve blocks and over two metres wide). A ten-year privilege for both woodcuts was obtained in 1515 by the Venetian publisher Bernardino Benalio. With its vigorous and expressive cutting, Ugo’s Sacrifice of Abraham enjoyed enduring popularity, passing through at least eight editions, the last probably in the 19th century. It influenced artists on both sides of the Alps, including the painters Marcello Fogolino (active 1510–1548)1 and Giorgio Vasari (1511–1574),2 an anonymous majolica painter of Faenza (circa 1520),3 and the Augsburg printmaker Jörg Breu the Younger (after 1510–1547).4

Ugo da Carpi had arrived in Venice about 1509 and in 1511 the first book containing woodcuts signed with his name was published.5 In 1515, the publisher Bernardino Benalio commissioned at least two book illustrations from Ugo, a ‘Meeting at the Golden Gate’ and a ‘Crucifixion’.6 Before Ugo’s departure for Rome, where he arrived sometime between 1516 and 1518, he had also completed for Benalio the expansive ‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham’ and executed a small two-tone chiaroscuro woodcut of ‘Saint Jerome’ after a design by Titian and inscribed it with his and Titian’s names.

Signed by the printmaker ‘vgo’ on leaf of tree stump of the upper right sheet (detail of block 2)

The ‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham’ was later reissued (fifth, sixth and seventh editions) with Titian’s name added on the cartouche, but it is uncertain whether this occurred during the painter’s lifetime (c. 1488/1490–1576). Though belated, the ascription to Titian strengthens a connection to his studio, and makes it less likely that the print was designed elsewhere. The extent of Titian’s personal involvement with this composition, however, is highly contentious. Those convinced of Titian’s authorship date the design to the period of his Paduan frescoes (c. 1510–1511), or conjecture an even earlier date (c. 1505–1506).7 Some critics believe Titian was responsible for the entire composition, and find it consistent with his early works; others suggest that his participation was confined to providing drawings for its major elements only. Opinions also vary about Titian’s direct participation in the making of the print, from outright cooperation (drawing directly on the blocks themselves), or supplying a full-size cartoon, to producing drawings from which a printmaker could improvise.8 Two drawings associated with Titian are often assumed to have been sources for the woodcut: one allegedly provided the arboreal motifs behind the angel (block 2) and for the tree stump (block 4),9 the other the figures of Abraham and two servants (block 3).10

A noticeable imbalance of the print, its division into separate quarters, with the primary incident confined to one, and the evident debt to woodcuts by Dürer, has convinced some writers that the design was concocted by a ‘relatively uncreative’ member of Titian’s workshop, who assembled materials he found there, by Titian and others, like a mosaic.11 The angel restraining Abraham seems to be based on the one in Dürer’s ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ (1498);12 the distant mountain landscape (block 1) appears to be derived from the ‘Visitation’ in Dürer’s ‘Life of the Virgin’ series published in 1511. There is speculation that these elements were not introduced by the designer, but added by Ugo himself. The entire series of Dürer’s ‘Apocalypse’ was copied by Italian woodcutters and published in Venice by Alessandro Paganini in 1515–1516, and several critics identify Ugo as the cutter of ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ and of other unsigned blocks in that publication.13

At least eight editions of the print were published, all without date. The earliest was published by Bernardino Benalio, who on 9 February 1515 (1514 more veneto) had applied for a privilege to print three books and an unspecified number of prints, including ‘la hystoria del sacrifitio de abraham’.14 An inscription on a cartouche in the upper left block mentions Ugo and the publisher Benalio but not Titian. In the next and third editions, the cartouche is re-lettered with the subject and the names of the publishers (‘Bernardino benalio & Bartholamio bianzago compagni’). In the fourth edition, only the subject is mentioned (‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham’); in the fifth edition, the cartouche is again re-lettered, naming Titian for the first time (‘Sagrificio del Patriarca Abramo del celebre Tiziano’); in the sixth edition, the cartouche remains unaltered, but a publication line ‘In Verona per gli Eredi di Marco Moroni’ is added (block 4); in the seventh edition, only Titian’s name appears in the cartouche; and in the eighth edition, the cartouche is left blank.

The first three editions are known by unique impressions (in Berlin, Gotha, and Chatsworth respectively). Their rarity is generally attributed to their size and to the contemporary practice of attaching multi-sheet prints either directly to a wall, or to a canvas or wood support, and – perhaps with the addition of a frame – hanging them on a wall, where they eventually decayed.15 A contributing cause could be the catastrophic fire on 4 January 1529 in the monastery of Santo Stefano, where Benalio kept stock separate from his shop situated in the Mercerie, ‘al segno S. Girolamo’.16 Later in the sixteenth century, multi-sheet prints were more often bound or pasted by collectors into albums, which may account for the greater survival rate of the later impressions.17 Judging by flattened vertical creases, the four sheets comprising the present impression of the fourth edition were once centre-folded, attached on stubs, and bound in an album. Only recently were the sheets assembled into a continuous composition.

Provisional census of impressions

first edition

● Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. 868–100 (complete; image)18

● Lost (Ferdinand Columbus, 1488–1539)19

The earliest surviving impression carries an inscription explaining that the woodcut is by Ugo da Carpi, printed by Bernardino Benalio with a privilegio issued by the Venetian Senate, and can be obtained in the Campo Santo Stefano:

In Uenetia per Ugo da carpi | Stampata per Bernardino | benalio: Cu[m] priuilegio, ɔ[on]cesso | per lo Illustrissimo Senato. | Sul ca[m]po desan Stephano.20

Other publications advertised by Benalio for sale in the Campo Santo Stefano were of a similar, popular nature, and likewise undated.21

second edition

● Gotha, Museen der Stadt, Schlossmuseum, Inv.-Nr. G76, 1 (complete)22

In the second edition, the cartouche is re-lettered: Ugo’s name is omitted, and Benalio’s nephew, Bartolomeo Bianzago, declared as his partner:

[pilcrow] La historia de Abraam. Come per ɔman/ | damento del signor Dio Abraaz [sic] meno Isaac | suo vnigenito fiolo sul monte p[er] sacrificarlo al/ | signor Dio: Come nel Genesiis trouerai alo | XXij capitulo. Stampata in la Christianissi/ | ma cita di Uenetia per Bernardino benalio/ | e Bartholamio bianzago compagni.

The family partnership of Benalio and Bianzago is poorly documented. On available evidence, the likely date of publication of this edition is c. 1520–c. 1527. 23

third edition

● Chatsworth, Devonshire Collection, IV, 73 n.97 (incomplete)24

For the third edition, the cartouche was again re-lettered, resulting in different line endings and orthographic changes:

La historia de Abraam. Come per coma[n]da | mento del signor Dio Abraam meno Isaac | suo vnigenito fiolo sul monte p[er] sacrificarlo al | signor Dio: Come nel Genesiis trouerai alo | XXij capitulo. Stampata in la Christianissi | ma cita di Uenetia per Bernardino benalio/ | e Bartholamio bianzago compagni. 25

fourth edition

● Bergamo, Accademia Carrara, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe (incomplete; image)26

● Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, 867–100 (complete)27

● Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, M8892b (complete; image)28

● Copenhagen, Den Kongelige Kobberstiksamling, 179, 8–11 (incomplete)29

● Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kupferstichkabinett, Inv. Nr. 1334a-d (complete; images: 1, 2, 3, 4)30

● London, British Museum, 1865,0708.97 (complete; image)31

● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes et de la photographie, Bc 5 fol. (complete; image)32

● Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Grosses Venez. Suppl. 1–2, Fol. 065 (complete)33

● Unlocated: sale 1864 (complete)34

● Unlocated: ex-Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792); sale 1933 (complete)35

For the fourth edition, the cartouche was again re-lettered, substituting the subject for the publisher’s name:

Sacrificio | del Patriarca | Abraham.

This fourth edition was perhaps printed c. 1546–1549, shortly after the death of Bernardino Benalio, and a presumed sale of his shop materials.36 A vertical crack evidently had appeared along the left edge of either block 3 or 4, necessitating a reduction in the width of both blocks of about 20–30 mm.

fifth edition

● Berlin, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, 44–1967 (complete)37

● Charlottesville, University of Virginia, The Fralin Museum of Art (complete)38

● New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1949 (49.97.633 A-D) (complete)39

● Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Grosses Venez. Suppl. 1–2, Fol. 066 (complete)40

● Unlocated: ex-Clemens Aloys Hohwiesner (1772–1818); sale 1820 (complete)41

● Unlocated: sale 1838 (complete)42

● Unlocated: ex-Wilhelm Ludwig Schreiber (1855–1932); sale 1909 (complete)43

The cartouche is re-lettered, naming Titian for the first time:

Sagrificio del Patriarca | Abramo | Del celebre Tiziano.

Another crack appeared before the fifth edition, this time in the lower right block, and a horizontal strip measuring about 33 mm has broken off.

sixth edition

● Bassano, Museo Biblioteca Archivio, iii–58–101 (complete)44

● Venice, Collezione Feliciano Benvenuti (complete)45 

● Venice, Museo Correr, Gabinetto Stampe e Disegni, Vol. st. A 15/30 (complete)45

The cartouche is the same as in the previous edition:

Sagrificio del Patriarca | Abramo | Del celebre Tiziano.

In the sixth edition, the publication line ‘In Verona per gli Eredi di Marco Moroni’ is added.46 The Stamperia Moroni was established by Marco Moroni in Verona ‘su la via Nova’ about 1760; it was operated by his heirs from about 1778 through the mid-19th century.

seventh edition

● Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, Département des estampes et de la photographie, Ba 1 (Mf H 99071 bis) (incomplete; image)47

In the seventh edition, the cartouche is lettered simply:

Tiziano

eighth edition

● Carpi, Musei di Palazzo dei Pio di Carpi48

● London, British Museum, 1860,0414.121 (complete)49

In the eighth edition, the cartouche is blank. 50

unidentified editions, fragments

● Zurich, Eidgenössischen Technischen Hochschule, Graphische Sammlung, Inv. Nr. D 30 1–2 (incomplete)51

● Unlocated: ex-Dr Rev Henry Wellesley (1794–1866); sale 1866 (complete)52

● Unlocated: ex-Giacomo Durazzo (1717–1794); sale 1872 (complete)53

● Unlocated: ex-Ambroise Firmin-Didot (1790–1876); sale 1877 (incomplete)54

● Unlocated: sale 1913 (complete)55

● Unlocated: ex-A. Hyatt Mayor (1901–1980); sale 1998 (incomplete)56

● Unlocated: sale 2013 (incomplete)57

references J.D. Passavant, Le Peintre-graveur (Leipzig 1864), vi, p.223 no. 3 (link); Fabio Mauroner, Le incisioni di Tiziano (Padua 1943), p.39 no. 3; Susan Siegfried, in Rome and Venice: Prints of the High Renaissance, catalogue of an exhibition, edited by Konrad Oberhuber, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 5-30 May 1974 (Cambridge, ma 1974), pp.78–81 no. 51; David Rosand and Michelangelo Muraro, Titian and the Venetian woodcut: a loan exhibition, held at the National Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1976–1977 (Washington, dc 1976), pp.55–69 no. 3 (Boston impression of the fourth edition and Metropolitan Museum of Art impression of the fifth edition exhibited); Caroline Karpinski, ‘Some woodcuts after early designs of Titian’ in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 39 (1976), pp.258–259 (note 4); Jan Johnson, ‘Ugo da Carpi’s chiaroscuro woodcuts’, originally published in Print Collector / Il conoscitore di stampe, 1982, nos. 57–58, vols. iii and iv, pp.2–87’ (revised version dated 2016 on academia.edu; link)

1. Alessandro Quinzi, ‘Marcello Fogolino tra Tiziano e Pordenone: Il Sacrificio di Abramo dei Musei Provinciali di Gorizia’ in Marcello Fogolino a Gorizia: ricostruzione di un capolavoro disperso del xvi secolo, edited by Teresa Perusini (Gorizia 2008), pp.156–167 (reproducing the impression of the fifth edition of the woodcut in Museo Biblioteca Archivio di Bassano del Grappa, Inv. Nr. iii-58-101).

2. Sharon Gregory, Vasari and the Renaissance Print (Farnham 2012), p.36, observing ‘Vasari almost surely knew this print; his own paintings of the subject surely owe a debt to it’, and illustrating (Fig. 1.13) the British Museum impression (fourth edition) and Vasari’s Sacrifice of Isaac, c. 1545 (Baltimore, Walters Art Gallery, 37.1705; image).

3. The composition is copied in a tin-glazed earthenware panel (260 × 285 mm), attributed to the so-called Assumption painter (British Museum, 1885,0508.27; image). Dorothy Thornton and Timothy Wilson, Italian Renaissance Ceramics: a catalogue of the British Museum collection (London 2009), p.175 no. 113 (British Museum’s impression of the fourth edition also reproduced).

4. Konrad Oberhuber, ‘Ein Holzschnitt Jörg Breus des Jüngeren und ein Entwurf Raffaels’ in Wiener Jahrbuch für Kunstgeschichte 25 (1972), pp.197–204 (p.201).

5. Ugo’s principal employer in Venice appears to have been Giacomo Penzio (Jacobus Pentius de Leucho), for whom he cut illustrations for devotional works, often using earlier woodcuts as models. Only a small proportion of Ugo’s Venetian woodcuts carry a signature; of the 38 accepted by Caroline Karpinski, just 13 are signed (Caroline Karpinski, in The Art Bulletin, 59, 1977, p.640).

6. Victor Masséna, prince d’Essling, Études sur l’art de la gravure sur bois à Venise: Les livres à figures vénitiens de la fin du xve siècle et du commencement du xvie (Florence 1907–[1915]), ii [1], p.287 no. 1840 (reproduced, link); p.294 no. 1857 (link; reproduced p.296, link); Cristina Dieghi, in Ugo da Carpi, l’opera incise: xilografie e chiaroscuri da Tiziano, Raffaello e Parmigianino, catalogue for an exhibition held at Palazzo dei Pio, Carpi, 12 September–15 November 2009, edited by Manuela Kahn-Rossi (Carpi 2009), pp.108–109 nos. 8–9.

7. Jürgen Rapp, ‘Tizians frühestes Werk: der Großholzschnitt “Das Opfer Abrahams”’ in Pantheon 52 (1994), pp.43–61, arguing that the design was first created as a single block (the present top right block) to which three further blocks were added to extend the design. The later elaboration of the design is linked with Benalio’s privilege of 1515.

8. Peter Dreyer, ‘Sulle silografie di Tiziano’ in Tiziano e Venezia: Convegno Internazionale di Studi, Venezia, 1976 (Vicenza 1980), pp.503–511; David Rosand and Michelangelo Muraro, Titian and the Venetian woodcut: a loan exhibition, held at the National Gallery of Art, the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, 1976–1977 (Washington, dc 1976), pp.55–69 no. 3 (Boston impression of the fourth edition and Metropolitan Museum of Art impression of the fifth edition exhibited); Michelangelo Muraro and David Rosand, Tiziano e la silografia veneziana del Cinquecento, catalogue for an exhibition presented by the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice, in 1976 (Vicenza 1976), pp.78–80 no. 7 (Bassano impression of the fifth edition exhibited).

9. New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Rogers Fund, 1908, Acc. No. 08.227.38 (link). On the controversial relationship of the drawing and woodcut, see David Rosand, ‘Titian drawings: a crisis of connoisseurship?’ in Master Drawings 19 (1981), pp.300–308; Konrad Oberhuber, in Tiziano Vecellio: Amor Sacro e Amor Profano, catalogue for an exhibition held at Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 20 March–22 May 1995, edited by Claudio Strinati (Rome 1995), p.280 no. 47 (as Titian).

10. Paris, Musée du Louvre, Cabinet des dessins, Inv. 4645 (link). The sheet is generally assumed to be a copy of a lost drawing by Titian; but see Caroline Karpinski, ‘Some woodcuts after early designs of Titian’ in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 39 (1976), pp.258–274 (pp.260–261). For speculation on Ugo’s use of these two sheets, see William R. Rearick, ‘Titian drawings: a progress report’ in Artibus et Historiae 12 (1991), pp.9–37 (pp.18–19); W.R. Rearick, Il disegno veneziano del Cinquecento (Milan 2001), pp.50–51.

11. David Landau, in The Genius of Venice 15001600, catalogue of the 1983–1984 winter exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts, edited by Jane Martineau and Charles Hope (London 1983), p.320, cites the ‘unbalanced’ composition and the ‘too many and too literal’ borrowings from Dürer as evidence that the design is by Giulio Campagnola and not by Titian. Paul Joannides, Titian to 1518: the assumption of genius (New Haven 2001), pp.282–283, also doubts Titian’s involvement, citing ‘weaknesses of the design’ and ‘the general clumsiness of the figure style’, but is critical of Landau’s attribution: ‘The designer might, at a guess, have been Francesco Vecellio, just returned from the wars, making use of material in his brother’s studio’.

12. Rosand and Muraro, op. cit., p.59; Rapp, op. cit., pp.50–51.

13. For the attribution of the non-Zoan Andrea woodcuts to Ugo, see Peter Dreyer, ‘Ugo da Carpis venezianische Zeit im Lichte neuer Zuschreibungen’ in Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte 35 (1972), pp.282–301 (giving Ugo five of the unsigned ‘Apocalypse’ prints); Karpinski, op. cit., 1976, p.263 (giving him three of the unsigned prints). Both scholars credit the ‘Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ to Ugo. Karpinski points out various deviations from the German original and observes that the left hand of the angel in the Venetian ‘Four Horsemen’ is ‘palm downwards, and the index finger flexed and separate from the other three fingers as is the left hand of the angel in the Sacrifice’ (p.265).

14. For the publishing activities of Benalio, who was active in Venice from 1483 until at least 1543, see Christopher L.C.E. Witcombe, Copyright in the Renaissance: prints and the privilegio in sixteenth-century Venice and Rome (Leiden 2004), pp.97–99. The privilege of 9 February 1515 (Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Collegio Notatorio, Reg. 17, Anno 1512–1515, folio 103 recto) was first published by Rinaldo Fulin, ‘Documenti per servire alla Storia della Tipografia Veneziana’ in Archivio Veneto 23 (1882), pp.84–212 (p.181, no. 196). It is cited by Witcombe as the earliest surviving example of a print carrying a privilegio inscription.

15. See the account of ‘mural woodcuts’ in David Landau and Peter Parshall, The Renaissance print, 14701550 (New Haven & London 1994), pp.231–237; also Mark P. McDonald, The print collection of Ferdinand Columbus (14881539): a Renaissance collector in Seville (London 2004), i, pp.111–112 (‘Sizes of prints that no longer survive’), 162–164.

16. The publication line in the first edition of the print indicates that it was obtainable ‘Sul campo de san Stephano’. Benalio is reported to have lost all stock stored on the monastery premises. In a supplica of 30 January 1529, he appealed to the Venetian Senate for renewal of privileges for reprinting the destroyed works (his request was granted 22 April 1529, but with respect to three works only); see Vittorio Rossi, ‘Bazzecole bibliografiche: ii. Un incendio a Venezia e il tipografo Bernardino Benalio’ in Il libro e la stampa, new series, volume 4 (no. 2, 1910), pp.51–55.

17. On the viewing and storing of prints, see Michael Bury, ‘The taste for prints in Italy to c. 1600’ in Print Quarterly 2 (1985), pp.12–26.

18. Assembled, 790 × 1076 mm (800 × 1098 mm, Rapp’s measurement). Provenance: ex-Ambroise Firmin-Didot (1790–1876); his sale by Maurice Delestre, Catalogue illustré des dessins et estampes composant la collection de M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot, Paris, 16 April–12 May 1877, p.215 lot 2171: ‘Carpi (Ugo da). Mort en 1523. Le Sacrifice d’Abraham. Grande estampe en quatre planches… En haut, vers la gauche, sur une tablette, on lit: In Venetia per Ugo da carpi || Stampata per Bernardino || benalio : Cū priuilegio [con]cesso || per lo Illustrissimo Senato. Sul cāpo de San Stephano. Gravure sur bois. Extrêmement rare. Superbe épreuve’ (link). The print was bought by the Stuttgart art dealer H.G. Gutekunst and acquired by the Berlin Museum in 1877 (Friedrich Lippmann, in Jahrbuch der Königlich Preußischen Kunstsammlungen, 1, 1880, p.275). Literature: Rosand and Muraro, op. cit., Fig. I–7; Karpinski, op. cit., 1976, pp.258–274 (p.258; reproduced p.259 Fig. 1); David Landau, in The Genius of Venice 1500–1600, op. cit., pp.320–321 no. P17; Rapp, op. cit., pp.43–61 Figs. 1, 2, 5, 22, 25; Gert Jan van der Sman, De eeuw van Titiaan: Venetiaanse prenten uit de Renaissance, catalogue for an exhibition held at Maastricht, 17 November 2002–16 February 2003 (Zwolle 2002), pp.104–105 (reproduced p.105); Witcombe, op.cit., Fig. 7a.

19. Literature: McDonald, op. cit., pp.487–488 no. 2686 (imprint recorded in the collector’s catalogue as ‘En Venetia por Hugo de Carpi y Bernardino Benalio…’).

20. Essling, op. cit., iii, pp.109–110 (an unlocated impression is reproduced; link); judging by the reproduction, it is the Firmin-Didot impression now in Berlin.

21. Cf. La sancta croce che se insegna alli puti in terza rima: L’alphabeto nel qual si trovano li errori che regnano nel modo a questi tempi, a quarto of 4 leaves of verse, with imprint ‘a Venezia per el Benali sul ca[m]po de san Stephano’ (Essling, op cit., ii/2, p.631 no. 2543, link; not recorded by Edit 16).

22. Assembled, 783 × 1083 mm. Watermark: ‘auf blaugrauem Tonpapier mit Wasserzeichen Briquet 485’ (Rapp). Literature: Werner Schade, in Kunst der Reformationszeit: Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR, Ausstellung im Alten Museum vom 26. August bis 13. November 1983 (Berlin 1983), p.285 no. D67; Rapp, op. cit., pp.44–45 Fig. 3 (detail); Sman, op. cit., p.104.

23. Bartolomeo Bianzago is named (nepos Helisabet uxoris mee) as a beneficiary in Bernardino Benalio’s testament of 1517; see Bartolomeo Cecchetti, ‘La pittura delle stampe di Bernardino Benalio’ in Archivio Veneto 33 (1887), pp.538–539: ‘Item volo quod satisfiat bartholomeo bianzago nepoti helisabet uxoris meae predite de mercede sua vendendi padue pro computo meo in annis quatuor vel circa figuras et libros in stampa ut quod ei dentur ducati decem. Qui bartholomeus a ne nihil habuit ex causa predita’. Two books of their Venetian partnership are recorded: an undated edition of Saint Benedict, Regola nuouamente vulgarizata, with colophon ‘Venetia per Bartholomeo Bianzago in casa de Bernardino Benali’ (dated ‘circa 1520’ by the editors of Edit 16, CNCE 5246; link); and Lodovico Pittorio, L’omeliario quadragesimale with imprint ‘Stampata per Bartholamio Bianzago, 1527 sta in casa del Benali’ (copy in Museo Correr, link); however, other books published 1528–1537 are subscribed ‘per Bernardino benalio & compagno’ or ‘…ac sociorum’, and Bianzago may be the unnamed associate.

24. Literature: Karpinski, op. cit., 1976, p.259 (note 4); Johnson, op. cit., p.14 (‘upper two quarters only’); Rapp, op. cit., p.45: ‘Daß es sich hier eindeutig um eine Ausgabe handelt, die zeitlich auf der Gothaer Exemplar folgt, beweist die nun verstärkt einsetzende Verwurmung der Druckplatte’ and Fig. 4 (detail); David Woodward, Maps as prints in the Italian Renaissance: makers, distributors & consumers (London 1996), pp.54–61 Figs. 25–26 (upper left block reproduced).

25. An impression of this edition was seen by Pierre-Jean Mariette, who recorded these details: ‘L’estampe du sacrifice d’Abraham, gravée en bois, en quatre grandes feuilles, sur le dessein du [Domenico] Campagnole, se trouve presque toujours de mauvaise édition. Les bonnes sont celles où on lit dans un cartouche, au haut de la planche, cette inscription en lettres gothiques: La historia de Abraam, come per comanda – mento del signor Dio Abram meno lsaac – suo unigenito fiolo sul monte p. sacrificarlo al – signor Dio. Come nel Genesiis troverai a lo – xxii capitulo. Stampata in la Christianissi – ma cita di Venetia per Bernardino Benalio – e Bartholamio Bianzago compagni. Ces deux noms des éditeurs sont remarquables.’ (Abecedario… et autres notes inédites… sur les arts et les artistes, edited by Philippe de Chennevières and Anatole de Montaiglon, Paris 1862, vi, pp.310–311; link).

26. One sheet only (block 1), borderline 407 × 532 mm (sheet 415 × 556 mm). Provenance: acquired 1958. Literature: Luisa Tognoli, in Per Tiziano. Quadri, xilografie e acqueforti dell’Accademia Carrara, catalogue for an exhibition (Bergamo 1976), p.10 no. 11.

27. Assembled, 800 × 1073 mm (Rapp’s measurement). Literature: Friedrich Lippmann, op. cit., p.275; Rapp, op. cit., pp.45–46, 58 (note 20); Fig. 5.

28. Assembled, 800 × 1065 mm. Provenance: Frederick Keppel (1844–1912), New York (Lugt 1023), from whom purchased by MFA, 1892. Literature: Susan Siegfried, in Rome and Venice: Prints of the High Renaissance, catalogue of an exhibition, edited by Konrad Oberhuber, Fogg Art Museum, Harvard University, 5-30 May 1974 (Cambridge, ma 1974), pp.78–81 no. 51; Rosand and Muraro, op. cit., pp.55–69 no. 3A; Grand scale: monumental prints in the age of Dürer and Titian, catalogue of an exhibition held at the Davis Museum and Cultural Center, Wellesley College; Yale University Art Gallery; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, edited by Larry Silver and Elizabeth Wyckoff (New Haven & London 2008), p.110 (reproduced); p.164 no. 6.

29. Literature: Rapp, op. cit., p.58 (note 20): ‘Exemplar rechts unten fragmentiert’, 794 × 1044 mm.

30. Unmounted, sheet dimensions 411 × 545 mm, 406 × 538 mm, 403 × 549 mm, 408 × 540 mm. Provenance: Georg Ernst Harzen (1790–1863), Hamburg (Lugt 1244).

31. Assembled, 790 × 1060 mm. Laid and framed. Provenance: Colnaghi, 1865. Literature: Gregory, op. cit., p.36 Fig. 1.13.

32. Unmounted, sheet dimensions 402 × 530 mm; 400 × 532 mm; 380 × 542mm; 408 × 532 mm. Provenance: Michel de Marolles (1600–1681), Abbé de Villeloin, Paris (Lugt 1855). Literature: Gisèle Lambert, Les premières gravures italiennes: quattrocento – début du cinquecento: inventaire de la collection du département des estampes et de la photographie (Paris 1999), no. 714 (q.v. ‘Gravures attribuées a Giulio Campagnola’).

33. Assembled, 792 × 1063 mm (Sman’s measurement). Literature: Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Renaissance in Italien, 16. Jahrhundert: Werke aus dem Besitz der Albertina (Vienna 1966), pp.114–115 no. 164; Rapp, op. cit., p.46; Sman, op. cit., pp.104–105 (cited).

34. Rudolph Weigel, Catalog mehrerer gewählten Sammlungen von Kupferstichen, Radirungen, Holzschnitten, Kupferwerken etc. dabei ein reiches Werk von A. Dürer in der Sammlung des Herrn K. Dorer zu Dresden (Nr. 491 bis 1076), sowie Ornamentstiche, modische Darstellungen aus der Rococcozeit, und der Nachlass des Herrn Kupferstechers Laz. Sichling in Leipzig, Leipzig, 29 February 1864, pp.23–24 lot 378: ‘Abraham’s Opfer. Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham. Grosser Holzschnitt in 4 zusammengefügten Blättern, mit Hugo da Carpi’s Zeichen, wird auch D. dalle Greche zugeschrieben. qu. roy fol. Aufgezogen’ (link).

35. Assembled, 800 × 1160 mm (Boerner measurement). C.G. Boerner, [Auktion Katalog 183] Kupferstiche, Radierungen und Holzschnitte des xv.–xvii. Jahrhunderts aus der Sammlung König Friedrich August ii. von Sachsen (gestorben 1854) und aus zwei alten fürstlichen Sammlungen, Leipzig, 14–15 November 1933, p.129, lot 1088: ‘Das Opfer Abrahams. Nach Tizian. Unbezeichnet, oben eine Tafel: Sacrificio del Patriarca Abraham. Von mehreren Stöcken. H.: 80 cm. Br.: 116 cm. Pass. VI, 223, 3. Vorzüglich und vollständig, etwas fleckig. Über die Zuschreibung an Domenico delle Greche oder N. Boldrini s. Passavant. Vgl. auch Thieme-Becker, Künstlerl. iv, Boldrini, S. 242. Sammlung: Sir Joshua Reynolds.’ (link)

36. Benalio’s last known book is an edition of Savonarola, Trattato dello amore di Jesu Christo, dated in its colophon ‘Stampata per bernardino benalio a di primo Luglio. 1543’ (link). He must have died before 8 August 1546, which is the date on a document identifying his wife as a widow (‘Elisabetta vedova de Bernardino de Benalio stampatore’) in Archivio di Stato di Venezia, Procurator Nobili, Busta 15, folio 143 recto (Witcombe, op. cit., p.106). Another multi-block woodcut named in Benalio’s 9 February 1515 privilege, ‘la submersione di pharaon’ (Submersion of the Pharaoh’s Army in the Red Sea), was reprinted with the address of Domenico dalle Greche in 1549. It could be that all the blocks in the Benalio shop were sold shortly after his death.

37. Mounted, 790 × 1076 mm. Literature: Peter Dreyer, Tizian und sein Kreis: 50 Venezianische Holzschnitte aus dem Berliner Kupferstichkabinett (Berlin 1972), pp.42–43 no. 3 (reproduced on folding plate); Horst Appuhn and Christian von Heusinger, Riesenholzschnitte und Papiertapeten der Renaissance (Unterschneidheim 1976), p.30 Fig. 22; Rapp, op. cit., p.58 (note 26): ‘der fehlende Teil des Bildes im Ausbruch unten rechts ist hier mit Tusche ergänzt’.

38. Assembled, 787 × 1055 mm. Watermarks: ‘Each sheet has initial mm; top left sheet mm surmounted by fleur-de-lis (unidentified)’ (Christie’s sale catalogue). Provenance: anonymous consignor, Christie’s, Old master, contemporary, American and modern prints and illustrated books including Picasso ceramics, New York, 14–15 May 1991, lot 129 (sold, $17,600) — Gertrude Weber (1918–2015), Charlottesville, va. Literature: Stacey Sell, Masterpieces of Renaissance and Baroque printmaking: a decade of collecting: selected from the collections of the Bayly Art Museum and Gertrude Weber (Charlottesville 1991), pp.175–176 no. 75 (entry by Sell and Lawrence Goedde).

39. Assembled, 800 × 1060 mm. Provenance: Graphische Sammlung Albertina; ‘The Albertina’s stamp on the verso of each sheet’ (collection database; entry). Literature: Rosand and Muraro, op. cit., no. 3B.

40. Assembled, 795 × 1065 mm (Rapp’s measurement). Literature: Rapp, op. cit., p.58 (note 26), Fig. 6.

41. C.E.G. Prestel, Catalogue raisonné de la rare et précieuse collection d’estampes anciennes… de feu Mr Clemence Aloys Hohwiesner, Frankfurt am Main, April 1820, p. 72, lot 926: ‘Sacrificio del Patriarca Abramo del celebre Tiziano. Grande et belle taille de bois de quatre planches, sans marque du graveur. Largeur de 40 pouces, hauteur 29 pouces 6 lig. Belle épreuve’ (link).

42. Rudolph Weigel, Kunstkatalog… Siebente Abtheilung (Leipzig 1838), p.56 no. 8255: ‘Domenico dalle Greche, Venet. Maler u. Formschneider. Die Capitallandschaft mit Abraham’s Opfer nach einer Handzeichnung von Tizian. Sagrificio del Patriarca Abramo del celebre Tiziano. In 4 Pl. in gr. qu. fol. (Wenn zusammengefügt Br. 40½ Z. H. 29 Z.) Capitalblatt, breit u. kühn geschnitten. 12 Thlr.’ (link).

43. Gilhofer & Ranschburg (in association with Joseph Baer & Co, Frankfurt am Main), [Auktion Katalog xxviii] Sammlung des Herrn Prof. W.L. Schreiber … Monumenta xylographica: die frühesten Erzeugnisse des Holz- und Mettallschnitts, schrot-, teig- und Stoffdrucks; Holztafeldrucke, Apokalpse, Biblia pauperum in frühen Ausgaben; Meisterholzschnitte des xvi. Jahrhunderts, Vienna, 3–4 March 1909, p.45 lot 192: ‘Domenico Campagnola. Tätig ca. 1500–20 in Padua und Venedig. Das Opfer Abrahams. P. VI. 223, 3. Seltenes aus vier Folioblättern bestehendes Werk mit der Inschrift: Sagrificio del Patriarca Abramo del celebre Tiziano.’ (link).

44. Assembled, 790 × 1076 mm (dimensions vary in Literature). Provenance: Giambattista Remondini, 1849 (‘Il compilatore dell’ inventario [1827] della Collezione Remondini nota che in basso a destra è stata abrasa lìiscrizione “In Verona per gli eredi di Marco Moroni”’; online catalogue, link). Literature: Muraro and Rosand, op. cit., pp.78–80 no. 7; Konrad Oberhuber, in Le siècle de Titien: l’âge d’or de la peinture à Venise, catalogue for an exhibition held at the Grand Palais, Paris, 9 March–14 June 1993 (Paris 1993), pp.525–526 no. 131; Marcello Fogolino a Gorizia, op. cit., p.158 (reproduced); Thomas Dalla Costa, in Tiziano: Venezia e il papa Borgia, catalogue of an exhibition held at Palazzo COSMO, Pieve di Cadore, 29 June–6 October 2013, edited by Bernard Aikema (Florence 2013), p.42 cat. V (reproduced).

45.Assembled, 790 × 1076 mm. Literature: Feliciano Benvenuti, ‘Il Sacrificio del Patriarca Abramo di Tiziano (Xilografia incisa da Ugo da Carpi 1515)’ in Titianus Cadorinus : celebrazioni in onore di Tiziano, Pieve di Cadore, 1576-1976 : atti, edited by Ugo Fasolo and Michelangelo Muraro ([Vicenza?] 1982), pp.27–29 (reproduced p.28); Simone Ferrari, in Tiziano: La fuga in Egitto e la pittura di paesaggio, catalogue for an exhibition in the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Venice, 29 August–2 December 2012, edited by Irina Artemieva and Giuseppe Pavanello (Venice 2012), pp.78–81 (reproduced). A detail (block 2) reproduced in Benvenuti’s ‘Tiziano nella lente delle stampe. Stampe di e da Tiziano’ in Eidos: Rivista di arti letteratura e musica 10 (1992), pp.4–15 (p.7) may be taken from this impression.

45. Assembled, 774 × 1064 mm (Chiari’s measurement). Literature: Maria Agnese Chiari, Incisioni da Tiziano: catalogo del fondo grafico a stampa del Museo Correr (Venice 1982), pp.28–31 (‘tardo e piuttosto debole’); Rapp, op. cit., p.46; Peter Lüdemann, Tiziano: le botteghe e la grafica (Florence 2016), pp.53-60 (reproduced p.50 Fig. 31, stating dimensions 790 × 1076 mm).

46. This publication line ‘In Verona per gli eredi di Marco Moroni’ is reported by Pietro Zani, Enciclopedia metodica critico-ragionata delle belle arti, Parte Seconda, Vol. iii (Parma 1820), p.25: ‘Le 2° Prove portano sulla tavoletta questo Ti. Sacrificio Del Patriarca Abramo Del Celebre Tiziano (in tre linee), e sotto il piede sin. di un Servo: In Verona Per Gli Eredi Di Marco Moroni, e tutte queste lettere sono majuscole.’ (link). Cf. Rosand and Mauroner, op. cit., p.55, considering the Venice impression as an example of the previous (fifth) edition: ‘This [publication line] is clearly not part of the block itself but was added to the block much later’.

47. Two sheets only (blocks 1, 3), joined, 787 × 530 mm. Literature: Lambert, op. cit., no. 714: ‘Deux planches seulement, celles des partie inférieure et supérieure g. jointes (les deux autres planches manquent). Épr. très faible.’ (link). See Rapp, op. cit., p.46, questioning the position of this edition in the sequence.

48. Assembled, 789 × 1076 mm. Literature: Silvia Urbini, in Ugo da Carpi, l’opera incise, op. cit., pp.112–113 no. 11 (reproduced).

49. Assembled, 780 × 1045 mm. Provenance: William Russell (1800–1884), via Colnaghi, 1860. Collection database (entry).

50. This may be the edition cited by G.K. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexicon (Leipzig 1835–1852), xxii, p.250 (‘…den Titel nicht, und ein Teil des linken Fusses des Knechtes Abrahams fehlt’; link).

51. Two sheets only (blocks 2, 3), 398 × 529 mm and 401 × 533 mm. Literature: Michael Matile, Italienische Holzschnitte der Renaissance und des Barock: Bestandeskatalog der Graphischen Sammlung der ETH Zürich (Basel 2003), pp.49–50 nos. 10a-b, stating as provenance ‘Jacopo Durazzo (Auktion Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 1873, Nr. 1331)’; collection database (link).

52. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, Catalogue of the memorable cabinet of drawings by the old masters and collections of engravings formed… by the late Dr Wellesley, London, 25 June 1866, p.79 lot 1197: ‘Abraham’s Sacrifice, After Titian, By Ugo Da Carpi, on several sheets, joined, fine and rare’ (link). The print had been lent by Rev Wellesley to Art Treasures of Great Britain, an exhibition of fine art held in Manchester, 5 May–17 October 1857 (Catalogue, p.312, item 1566; link); cf. Alfred Tonnellé, Voyage artistique en Angleterre et à l’exposition de Manchester en 1857 (Tours 1860), i, pp.379–380 (link), and H. Segelken, ‘Alfred Tonnellé über die italienischen Holzschnitte der Manchester-Ausstellung im Jahre. 1857’ in Archiv für die zeichnenden Künste, Neunter Jahrgang (Leipzig 1863), p.220 (link).

53. H.G. Gutekunst, [Kunst-Auction No. xi] Catalog der kostbaren und altberühmten Kupferstich-Sammlung des Marchese Jacopo Durazzo, Stuttgart, 19 November 1872, p.116 lot 1177: ‘Domenico Campagnola… Das Opfer Abraham’s, grosse Composition in 4 Bl. Fol., unbeschrieben. Schöner späterer Abdruck, a. selten. Belle épreuve postérieure. c. rare’ (link).

54. One sheet only (block 3). Maurice Delestre, Catalogue illustré des dessins et estampes composant la collection de M. Ambroise Firmin-Didot, Paris, 16 April–12 May 1877, p.215 lot 2172: ‘Planche du bas de gauche. Belle épreuve’ (link).

55. Merwin Sales Company, Etchings Mezzotints Engravings and Drawings, New York, 13 February 1913, p.10 lot 95: ‘Early wood engraving. The Sacrifice of Isaac. Engraved in four folio divisions, in manner of Ugo da Carpi, probably for a chiaroscuro (4)’ (link).

56. One sheet only, 391 × 519 mm. Waverly Auctions, Sale 146: A. Hyatt Mayor Collection of Old Master Prints and Drawings, Bethesda, md, 2 April 1998, lot 219 (sold, $374).

57. Two sheets only (blocks 3, 4), joined, 399 × 1092 mm. Provenance: Hans Freiherr Von und Zu Aufsess (1801–1872), Aufsess and Nuremberg (Lugt 2750). Bassenge, Auktion 102: Druckgraphik des 15.–19. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 28 November 2013, lot 577 (sold, €1200).

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