Print [35], in first state (before letters) View larger
Print [35], in first state (before letters)
Novelli (Francesco), 1767-1836

Disegni del Mantegna

Venice, [Publisher not named], c. 1796-1799
A rare suite of forty-seven prints reproducing drawings of putti playing or fighting, all’antica heads, and studies of the Virgin and Child, once attributed to Andrea Mantegna, now recognized as works of Marco Zoppo (1432/3-1478). The drawings – then in an album in the possession of the printmaker’s father, the Venetian painter Pietro Antonio Novelli, and since 1920 in the British Museum – were commissioned by an unknown patron, presumably with humanistic interests, as there are witty references to antiquity. The elusive meaning of some of the drawings and discreet homosexual imagery in others “suggests a commission where the patron had a hand in providing some of the subject matter, the significance of which may have been understood only by a small circle of friends” (Hugo Chapman). Our impressions are all “proofs before letters”.
Subjects
Book illustration - Artists, Italian - Novelli (Francesco), 1767-1836
Book illustration - Reproductive printmaking - Mantegna (Andrea), c. 1431-1506
Book illustration - Reproductive printmaking - Zoppo (Marco), 1432/3-1478
Authors/Creators
Novelli, Francesco, 1767-1836
Artists/Illustrators
Mantegna, Andrea, 1431-1506
Novelli, Francesco, 1767-1836
Zoppo, Marco, 1432/3-1478
Other names
Boni, Mauro, Abate, 1746-1817
Rubeis, Giambattista de, 1743-1819

Novelli, Francesco
Venice 1767 – 1836 Venice

[Disegni del Mantegna]

[Venice: publisher not named, circa 1796-1799]

folio (380 × 280 mm), forty-seven etchings, comprising a title (bust of Mantegna on a pedestal), engraved dedication printed on two leaves (addressed to Giambattista de Rubeis and subscribed by Francesco Novelli at Venice, 22 December 1795), and forty-four plates (circa 230 × 170 mm),

proof’ impressions (before numbers, lettering, production details). Printed Avviso (see below) loosely inserted.

watermark crowned gf with countermark of three crescents.

provenance illegible ink ownership inscription on verso of dedication leaf, av[vocato?] L. <…> (Fig. 6) — pencil inscriptions in German and numerals 775-819 on old mount, zu 8323 in pencil on verso of each print — unnamed consignor, Sotheby’s, ‘Music and Continental Books and Manuscripts’, London, 7 December 2015, lot 68

Print [32] slightly smaller dimension, but otherwise homogenous; in superb state of preservation.

binding in a modern cloth portfolio-box.

A rare suite of prints reproducing drawings of putti playing or fighting, all’antica heads, and studies of the Virgin and Child, once attributed to Andrea Mantegna, now recognized as works of Marco Zoppo (1432/3-1478). The prints are dedicated by the printmaker, Francesco Novelli, to Giambattista de Rubeis, and all but the last two reproduce drawings executed in pen and ink and wash on vellum in an album that De Rubeis had given to the printmaker’s father, the Venetian painter Pietro Antonio Novelli. The album passed subsequently through the hands of Samuel Woodburn, Sir Alexander Barker, Baron Mayer de Rothschild, to Archibald Philip Primrose, fifth Earl of Rosebery (1847-1929), who in 1920 presented it to the British Museum.1

The function of the album has been much debated, with some regarding it as a pattern book, others as an adjunct to a literary text – perhaps Petrarch’s De viris illustribus – or as a luxury picture book commissioned by a patron in Venice or Padua; its date, too, is uncertain, with arguments ranging from the mid-1460s to the mid-1470s. The elusive meaning of some of the drawings and discreet homosexual imagery in others ‘suggests a commission where the patron had a hand in providing some of the subject matter, the significance of which may have been understood only by a small circle of friends’.2

Fig. 1. Print [35], in first state (before letters)
Fig. 2. Print [17], in first state (before letters)
Fig. 3. Undated Avviso placed in our copy

Francesco Novelli was a painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, particularly clever at engraving in the style of Rembrandt,3 who marketed his own prints, and occasionally published prints made by others.4 In the dedicatory letter, Novelli recounts the discovery of the album in 1765 in Padua by Giambattista de Rubeis (1743-1819), a painter and dilettante from Udine.5 He tells us that various experts of Padua, recognizing it as an important work of art derived from Squarcione, decided that the drawings must be by his most illustrious pupil, Mantegna, basing this attribution on a resemblance, in their opinion, to the so-called ‘Tarocchi di Mantegna’. In the letter, Novelli attempts to support the attribution, by finding affinities with the ‘Triumphs of Caesar’, and other authentic works of Mantegna.

The album consists of twenty-six vellum leaves, of which twenty-four are drawn on both sides and two are blank on one side, so the total number of drawings is fifty. Novelli’s plan was to engrave all fifty drawings and issue his prints serially, in groups of eight, to subscribers (‘Associati all’Opera del Mantegna’). A prospectus advertising fifty plates (dated ‘30 Luglio 1795’) was circulated,6 and work on the title and two dedication plates was well underway in November 1795; eight plates were ready a few months later.7

In a letter of December 1796 to Abate Mauro Boni, Francesco Novelli writes that he had become apprehensive about publishing prints of two drawings (folios 4 and 6, in original order), because he considered them licentious, and thus likely to lose him subscribers, as well as incorrect in drawing.8 We learn from another letter that Francesco Novelli had acquired from Abate Pietro Bini, sometime before 27 May 1796, a double-sided drawing (on paper) showing eight studies of the Virgin and Child in a variety of poses.9 Novelli believed this sheet to be also by Mantegna – despite receiving from the Venetian connoisseur Giovanni Maria Sasso the correct attribution to Zoppo – and he etched both sides as substitutes for two ‘rami licenziosi’, recording the different provenance directly on the plates: ‘Il Disegno fu regalato all’Incisore dall’ Egregio Pittore Sigr. Abre. Pietro Bini’.10

Impressions of the title-print, a bust of Mantegna placed on a pedestal, were taken before the matrice was lettered; impressions likewise were taken from the other plates, before they were sequentially numbered and lettered with production details (typically Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.). These ‘stampe senza lettere’ simulated more exactly the drawn originals, and were preferred by some connoisseurs. The quantities of impressions struck in each state are unknown; however, the very few recorded sets of ‘proof impressions’ suggest that they constitute a small minority.

Fig. 4. Print [19], in first state (before letters)
Fig. 5. Print [29], in first state (before letters)
Fig. 6. Ownership inscription (verso of dedication leaf 1)

The project was brought to a close in 1799, apparently before the last six drawings were etched.11 In an undated Avviso (Fig. 3),12 Novelli explained that the work would terminate with forty-four prints, however the two prints of the Virgin and Child (each with four studies) would be counted as eight, thereby fulfilling his promise to supply ‘50 disegni originali di Andrea Mantegna’. The majority of surviving copies are comprised of forty-seven or forty-eight plates: the title-print (often supplied in two versions, one with and the other without lettering); two leaves of engraved dedication; and forty-four numbered plates.

At unknown dates, the two ‘licentious drawings’ were etched by Novelli, and distributed without production details on the plates. The final six drawings excluded from the general issue were also etched, however on these the usual production details identifying Mantegna as draughtsman and Novelli as printmaker appear. A few sets containing some (or all) of these eight prints are known.13

(i) A naked woman (Victory, or Venus Victrix) holding a helmet and a pike, infants with weapons behind her. Etching, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 64.394; Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, XFA3902.1.50 (image), only state? (no lettering). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.25, image. Original position in album f.4, current position in album f.25 verso.

(ii) A huntsman with dogs standing by his horse near a pool with three naked women. Etching, Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 64.394; Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, XFA3902.1.50 (image), only state? (no lettering). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.22, image. Original position in album f.6, current position in album f.22 verso.

(iii) A female warrior, bust-length, turned to the left with a winged helmet in the shape of a marine monster. Etching, BM 1920.1211.54 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details A Mant. dis | F N. inc.). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.11, image. Original position in album f.15 verso, current position in album f.11 verso.

(iv) A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a winged helmet with a cornucopia at the rear. Etching, BM 1920.1211.56 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details A Mant. dis. | F N. inc.). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.14, image. Original position in album f.19 verso, current position in album f.14 verso.

(v) A classical youth, bust length, with a headband turned to the left. Etching, BM 1920.1211.52 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details A Mant. dis / F N. inc). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.17, image. Original position in album f.14 verso, current position in album f.17 verso.

(vi) Death of Seneca, the philosopher in a bath in a paved courtyard, in discussion with a soldier seated on a chair, two others soldiers beyond. Etching, BM 1920.1211.51 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.23, image. Original position in album f.16 recto, current position in album f.23 recto.

(vii) Two centaurs fighting observed by a stag, a walled city in the background. Etching, BM 1920.1211.53 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.24, image. Original position in album f.18 recto, current position in album f.24 recto.

(viii) A man leading two horses in a clearing of a wood, hacking at trees with his sword, a fig tree at the far left with the sun in the guise of a child's head above it. Etching, BM 1920.1211.55 (second, or only state? Lettered with production details A Mantegna dis | F N. inc). Drawing, BM 1920,0214.1.26, image. Original position in album f.1 recto, current position in album f.26 recto.

The correspondence of Novelli and Abate Mauro Boni documents the printmaker’s efforts to sell the prints. In a letter dated 24 February 1796, Novelli lists twenty-eight ‘Associati all’ Opera del Mantegna’:

♦ ‘Antonio Canova – Roma’ (the sculptor, 1757-1822) ♦ ‘Il cav. Rossi – Firenze’ (presumably, Cosimo Rossi-Melocchi, 1758-1820) ♦ ‘Il cav. Lazara – Padova’ (Giovanni de Lazara, 1744-1833) ♦ ‘S. E. Giac.o Collalto’ (Conte Giacomo Massimiliano Collalto, 1729-1810) ♦ ‘Il sig. Cromer’ ♦ ‘Il sig. Golino [Golini]’ ♦ ‘S. E. Ant.o Savorgnan’ (Conte Antonio Savorgnan, 1744-1810) ♦ ‘S. E. cav. Giac.o Nani’ (Giacomo Nani, 1725-1797) ♦ ‘Il Padre Abb.e Corner’ (Giampietro Corner, 1739-1804, abate del Monastero di San Michele di Murano) ♦ ‘S. E. Mar.se Girolamo Durazzo – Genova’ (Girolamo Luigi Durazzo, 1739-1809) ♦ ‘Num. 6 per L’Abb.e della Lena’ (Eusebio Della Lena, bibliophile, bookseller of Lucca, 1747-1818) ♦ ‘S. E. cav. Worslei Min.o Brit.o’ (Sir Richard Worsley, 1751-1805, British ambassador in Venice 1794-1797) ♦ ‘S. E. Residente di Moscovia’ (Count Nikolai Semienovitch Mordvinov, 1754-1845) ♦ ‘Il Marchese Obizzo’ ♦ ‘Il sig. Angelo Amigoni – Conegliano’ (Angelo Amigoni, podestà del comune di Conegliano) ♦ ‘Il Conte Ant.o Remondini’ ♦ ‘Il Conte Giuseppe Remondini’ ♦ ‘ed in Udine N. 6 dei quali aspetto il nome’ (i.e., Domenico and Gabriele Pecile, printer-publishers in Udine)’ 14

In other letters, Novelli records the despatch of impressions to the shop of the Artarias in Vienna, and to printsellers in Frankfurt, and Hamburg;15 to Abate Giuseppe Greatti (1758-1812), bibliotecario dell’Universitaria di Padova; to the librarian of the Hofbibliothek in Vienna; and to Senator Gregorio Casali Bentivoglio Paleotti (1721-1802) of Bologna, who received in addition ‘vari manifesti da dispensarsi alla librai’.

Provisional census of impressions

A set of ‘impressions before the letters’ of unspecified number was offered in London by the printseller Thomas Rodd the Younger (1796-1849), in 1837, and reoffered in 1847.16 Another set of ‘proof impressions’ was offered by Rudolf Weigel in Leipzig in 1843; it comprised forty-eight plates, including the title-print in second state, with ‘Disegni del Mantegna’ on a banner and lettering on the pedestal.17 A third set of proof impressions was seen by Campbell Dodgson, Keeper of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum in 1932, when in the possession of a Captain R. Johnson.18 This set was acquired by the booksellers Davis & Orioli the same year, and is now in Lake Forest College Library, Illinois.

First state: impressions before letters and numbers

● Unlocated (formerly with Rudolph Weigel, 1843)19 ● Unlocated (formerly in a catalogue of T. Rodd, 1837-1847)20 ● Lake Forest, IL, Lake Forest College, NC257.M32 N6821

Second states: lettered and numbered, more than 48 prints

● Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 64.39422 ● Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, P.4092-R23 ● Cambridge, MA, Harvard University, Fine Arts Library, XFA3902.1.50 Folio24 ● London, British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings, 1920,1211.4-56 (163*. c.15)25 ● Venice, Museo Correr, Gabinetto Disegni e Stampe, Stampe E, 3026

Second states: lettered and numbered, 47 or 48 plates (and incomplete suites)

● Berlin, formerly Königliche Kupferstichsammlung (lost?)27 ● Coburg, Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg, Inventar-Nr. XII,230,9228 ● Florence, Kunsthistorisches Institut, J 5029 gm29 ● London, British Museum, Department of Prints & Drawings, 163 b 2430 ● London, Victoria & Albert Museum, Print Collection, E.748-794-1903 (I.2.a)31 ● Naples, Biblioteca nazionale Vittorio Emanuele III, Inventario VA1 1523630 (Collocazione V.F. 203 E 1)32 ● Padua, Biblioteca del Seminario Vescovile di Padova, Raccolta di Stampe, V II 3, tav. 6-2733 ● Reggio Emilia, Biblioteca Panizzi, Gabinetto delle stampe ‘Angelo Davoli, Inv. 10457-1047534 ● San Francisco, State University, J. Paul Leonard Library, De Bellis collection, NE662.M3 D57 179535 ● Venice, Biblioteca nazionale Marciana, Inv. ANT 37560 (D 036D 001)36 ● Washington, DC, Library of Congress37 ● Windsor, Royal Collections, RCIN 80904338 ● Unlocated (formerly in the collection of Cesare Pirovano)39 ● Unlocated (formerly in the Durazzo collection, Genoa)40 ● Unlocated (formerly in the collection of Moritz Graf von Fries, 1777-1826, Vienna)41 ● Unlocated (copy utilised for a facsimile reprint published at Bologna by Forni, 1974) ● Unlocated (sold 1903)42

further references Charles Le Blanc, Manuel de l’amateur d’estampes (Paris 1856), III, p.108 nos. 5-52 (‘Suite de 48 p. in-fol’); Joseph Heller, Handbuch für Kupferstichsammler (Leipzig 1873), II, p.236 (‘48 Bl. Die Imitationen der Originalzeichnungen des A. Mantegna 1795. Geschätztes, aber sehr seltenes Werk’)

List of plates

Fig. 7. Title-print, in first state (before letters)

Title
A bust of Andrea Mantegna, placed on a pedestal (Fig. 7)
232 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state. Impressions in first state occasionally are added to issues of plates in second state.
BM 1920,1211.4 (second state) 43

Dedication (leaf 1)
First folio of two, lettered below coat of arms with first half of a dedication letter to Giambattista dei Rubeis
227 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
Only state.
BM 1920,1211.5

Dedication (leaf 2)
Lettered with the second half of the dedication letter, followed by address, date and signature
227 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
Only state.
BM 1920,1211.6

1
A group of putti drinking from a wine barrel on a raft with wheels and a sail floating down a river; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
Only state.
BM 1920,1211.7 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 1; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing, see 1920,0214.1.1 recto (image)

2
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a helmet with a putto seated in a saddle at the top blowing water out of a cornucopia; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.8 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 2; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.22 verso (image)

3
Madonna and Child, the infant standing on a cushion, in an arched opening decorated with reliefs and swags, two putti behind; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.9 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 3; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.2 recto (image)

4
A bearded warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a helmet with two gagged male heads; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.10 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 4; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.21 verso (image)

5
Infants seated on the shoulders of slightly older children battling with each other watched by two infants on the left, a wall and a fortress behind; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.11 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 5; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.3 recto

6
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a helmet with an infant clutching on to a winged dragon; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.12 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 6; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.13 verso (image)

7
Four men in a rocky landscape, the foreground pair wearing a Byzantine headgear (left) and a turban (right); after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.13 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 7; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.4 recto (image)

Fig. 8. Print [8], in first state (before letters)

8
A warrior with a moustache, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a griffin on the crest; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 8)
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.14 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 8; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna del. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.25 verso (image)

9
Six putti on a raft with wheels, four of them holding up a circular platform on which stands a putto holding on to the mast with a sail and blowing a trumpet; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 173 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.15 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 9; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.5 recto (image)

10
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a monstrous visor, small wings at the side and a scorpion-like tail at the rear; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.16 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 10; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.5 verso (image)

11
Two fashionably dressed young men, one with his hand on the others shoulder, with the one on the right speaking to a dwarf, another dwarf with a fur hat on his head to the left; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.17 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 11; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.6 recto (image)

12
A female warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a winged helmet with a dog-like creature with a collar at the top and a pointed visor; after Marco Zoppo
228 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.18 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 12; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.7 verso (image)

13
Three fashionably dressed young men in conversation, the one on the right leaning on a sword; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.19 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 13; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.7 recto (image)

14
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet decorated with the head and wings of a dragon; after Marco Zoppo
229 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.20 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 14; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.1 verso (image)

Fig. 9. Print [15], in first state (before letters)

15
A woman in classical costume with one breast exposed defending herself with a club from the attack of three male infants brandishing spears and a burning torch, a walled town with circular towers at the corners beyond; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 9)
229 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.21 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 15; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.8 recto (image)

16
A bearded man, bust-length, turned to the left with a turban decorated with wings; after Marco Zoppo.
230 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.22 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 16; lettered below image with production details: Andrea Mantegna dis. | Francesco Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.18 verso (image)

17
Two pairs of putti wrestling watched by three men, classical soldiers behind marching in front of a wall; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 2)
229 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.23 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 17; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis. | F Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.9 recto (image)

18
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a winged helmet with an infant holding a snake (Hercules?) on his back and a dragon emerging from between his legs, his jaws clamped around the pointed end of the visor; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 169 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.24 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 18; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.10 verso

19
Three fashionably dressed men in a landscape, the one on the right holding on to one of the fingers of the man on the left; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 4)
231 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.25 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 19; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.10 recto (image)

20
A king, bust-length, turned to the right with the heads of two infants on his breast-plate; after Marco Zoppo
226 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.26 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 20; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.2 verso (image)

21
Two pairs of infants wrestling watched by two infants holding long sticks in a paved square or courtyard; after Marco Zoppo
228 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.27 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 21; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.11 recto (image)

22
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the front and looking to the left with a helmet decorated with lion masks and an eagle with outstretched wings; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.28 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 22; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.3 verso (image)

23
Three Middle Eastern male figures in a landscape with two more walking to the left in the background, a soldier in classical costume on the right; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.29 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 23; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.12 recto (image)

24
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a visor decorated with eyes and small wings at the side; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.30 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 24; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.4 verso (image)

25
A pair of soldiers in classical costume with two infants behind then holding up a helmet; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.31 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 25; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.13 recto (image)

26
A bearded warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a putto gripping the top; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.32 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 26; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.23 verso (image)

27
A group of infants in a paved courtyard, one of them seated on a barrel; after Marco Zoppo
231 × 173 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.33 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 27; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.14 recto (image)

28
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a cornucopia topped by an infant; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.34 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 28; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.20 verso (image)

29
Three classical warriors, the one on the right offering the soldier to the left an apple, dancing or battling putti behind; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 5)
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.35 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 29; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.15 recto (image)

30
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a helmet with a cornucopia at the side and a pair of putti clinging on to a volute at the top; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.36 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 30; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.19 verso (image)

31
Four putti, three holding sticks and one on the left a shield; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.37 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 31; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.16 recto (verso blank) (image)

Fig. 10. Print [32], in first state (before letters)

32
A female warrior, bust-length, turned to the left with two necklaces, one of which has a heart pendant; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 10)
231 × 170 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.38 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 32; lettered below image with production details: A. Mantegna dis. | F. Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.8 verso (image)

33
Four fashionably dressed young men, the central one holding the wrist of the man on the left; after Marco Zoppo
231 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.39 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 33; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.17 recto (image)

34
Mercury (?), bust-length, turned to the right with wings on his head and a headband; after Marco Zoppo
240 × 172 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.40 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 34; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F N inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.15 verso (image)

35
A putto putting bellows in the anus of another, a third putto on his back and pulling his hair, the scene watched by two men and two boys; a wall and fortress; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 1)
233 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.41 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 35; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.18 recto (image)

36
A bearded man, bust-length, turned to the left with a turban ; after Marco Zoppo
232 × 173 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.42 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 36; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli in)
Reversed from original drawing. For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.9 verso (image)

37
Infants seated on the shoulders of slightly older children battling with each other with clubs and shields watched by two infants; after Marco Zoppo
231 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.43 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 37; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.19 recto (image)

38
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the left in a helmet with a putto on the crest blowing water out of a cornucopia; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 171 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.44 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 38; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.24 verso (image)

39
Two nude wrestlers watched by two pairs of male spectators, a circular brick tower raised on a platform with a relief of infants on the left; after Marco Zoppo
230 × 173 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.45 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 39; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.20 recto (image)

40
A warrior, bust-length, turned to the right in a helmet with an infant clutching on to the horns of a goat-like monster; after Marco Zoppo
231 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.46 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 40; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.6 verso (image)

41
Death of Pentheus (or Orpheus), the latter in a lions skin cloak, on one knee and his right arm raised trying to protect himself from the attack of two maenads and an infant wielding clubs; after Marco Zoppo
233 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.47 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 41; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis. | F Novelli inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.21 recto (image)

42
A female [?] warrior, bust-length, turned to the left with a winged helmet in the shape of a marine monster; after Marco Zoppo
233 × 174 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.48 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 42; lettered below image with production details: A Mantegna dis | F Novelli inc)
For details on the drawing see 1920,0214.1.12 verso (image)

Fig. 11. Print [43], in first state (before letters)

43
Four studies of the Virgin and Child; various poses including one at lower right with putti supporting a screen at either side; after Marco Zoppo (Fig. 11)
302 × 215 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.49 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 43; lettered below image with provenance of the drawing and production details: Il Disegno fu regalato allIncisore dall Egregio Pittore Sigr. Abre. Pietro Bini and A Mantegna dis | F N. inc.)
For details on the drawing see 1904,1201.1 recto (image)

44
Four studies of the Virgin and Child as above; including one at lower right with putti supporting a wreath of flowers; after Marco Zoppo
302 × 214 mm (plate-mark), 345 × 287 mm (sheet)
First state.
BM 1920,1211.50 (second state, numbered above image to the right: 44; lettered below image with provenance of the drawing and production details: Il Disegno fu regalato allIncisore dall Egregio Pittore Sigr. Abre. Pietro Bini and A Mantegna dis | F N. inc)
Reversed from original drawing. For details on the drawing see 1904,1201.1 verso (image)

1. British Museum, 1920,0214.1.1 Facsimile with introduction by Campbell Dodgson, A book of drawings formerly ascribed to Mantegna (London 1923), passim; Albert J. Elen, Italian Late-Medieval and Renaissance Drawing-books (Leiden 1995), pp.236-240 no. 29; Padua in the 1450s: Marco Zoppo and his contemporaries, exhibition catalogue by Hugo Chapman, British Museum, Department of Prints and Drawings (London 1998), pp.64-67 no. 15.

2. Chapman, Padua in the 1450s, op. cit. (1998), pp.38, 40. The latter drawings include one (etched as print 35, Fig. 1) of a putto putting a bellows in the anus of another, watched by two men as voyeurs: ‘The young dandy points with one finger either at the putti or at the older man. In any case it seems hard to interpret the drawing in any way other than that the putti are providing an example for the pair of gentlemen’ (Lilian Armstrong, The paintings and drawings of Marco Zoppo, New York, 1976, p.313). In another drawing (print 17, Fig. 2), a scene of two pairs of putti wrestling, watched by two men, ‘the centrally placed pair of young men touch each other in a rather possessive way. One of them grasps the center of the belt of the other, and they point ambiguously either at each other or at the putti’ (Armstrong, op. cit., 1976, pp.313-314.). In most of the contemporary scenes, the men are grouped as if conversing with each other; in one drawing (etched as print 19, Fig. 4) a man places a ring on another man’s finger.

3. These were executed on behalf of Jean-Dominique Vivant-Denon, from impressions in Anton Maria Zanetti’s collection. Ulrich Finke, ‘Venezianische Rembrandtstecher um 1800’ in Oud Holland 79 (1964), pp.111-121 (pp.114-119); Michele Mainardi, ‘Le incisioni dalle acquaforti di Rembrandt di Francesco Novelli’, thesis, Università degli studi di Venezia, Facoltà di lettere e filosofia, Dipartimento di storia e critica delle arti, 1985-1986, I, pp.10-58.

4. Giovanni Battista Perini, Della vita e delle opere di Francesco Novelli pittore ed incisore veneziano (Venice 1888). Novelli’s activity as a book illustrator is surveyed by Paola Pugliese, ‘Francesco Novelli (1767-1836) illustratore di libri’ in Atti dell’ Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Classe di scienze morali, lettere ed arti 163 (2005), pp.379-455 (pp.389-391 and figs. 7-9); P. Pugliese, ‘Il contributo di Francesco Novelli (1767-1836) all’illustrazione libraria tra Sette e Ottocento’ in Il cielo o qualcosa di più. Scritti per Adriano Mariuz, edited by Elisabetta Saccomani (Cittadella 2007), pp.419-423 (p.420), 481-483 (fig. 178).

5. Caterina Furlan, ‘Aspetti del collezionismo d’arte nel Friuli del Settecento: l’ambiente udinese, Giambattista de Rubeis e l’album di disegni “mantegneschi” del British Museum’ in Arte, storia, cultura e musica in Friuli nell’età del Tiepolo. Atti del Convegno internazionale di studi, Udine, 19-20 dicembre 1996, edited by C. Furlan and Giuseppe Pavanello (Udine 1998), pp.177-189. This dedicatory letter ‘di bellissime erudizioni’ was written by Abate Mauro Boni (1746-1817); see ‘Memorie della vita di Pietro Antonio Novelli scritte da lui medesimo’ in Per le auspicate nozze del Marchese Giovanni Salvatico colla Contessa Laura Contarini (Padua 1834), pp.69-70 (‘La dedica fu scritta dall’egregio signor abate Mauro Boni’); Giuseppe Campori, Lettere artistiche inedite (Modena 1866), pp.307-311 (letters of Francesco Novelli to Mauro Boni, September-December 1795).

6. ‘A gli amatori delle arti del disegno | 30. Luglio 1795. Venezia | Ritrovandosi nella Collezione del Sig. Pietro Antonio Novelli Pittore Veneto un prezioso Libro di Disegni di Andrea Mantegna in Carta pecora a penna, che non furono mai incisi, nè dall’Autore, nè da altri, Francesco Novelli Figlio pensò esser cosa utilissima, e di gran piacere agl’ Intendenti il metterli alle Stampe. Egli dunque ha impresso ad inciderli con la più esatta imitazione, non levando ad essi, nè aggiungendo la più minima cosa. | Li detti Disegni sono al numero di 50. La metà soggetti istoriati, e l’atra metà busti e teste di variato carattere che dimostrano esser Ritratti con elmi dell’antico tempo molto ornate e capricciosi. | Li disegni Istoriati non son meno interessanti per la bella finitissima esecuzione che rende perfettamente il carattere di quell’ esimio ristoratore della Pittura, quanto ancora per le soggie singolari dei vestititi ed abbigliamenti delle diverse figure che ci mettono sott’ occhio gli usi d quel secolo, e servir possono ad amplificare l’erudizione pittorica. | Si lusinga l’Incisore che sia per essere ben accolta quest’ Opera da’ Professori ed amanti delle Belle Arti, al qual uopo nel desiderio di ottenere il loro Voto favorevole ei comincierà dal pubblicarne a due a due le sudette Stampe appajando un Soggetto istoriato, ed una testa o busta nella ferma risoluzione di condurre a compimento una sì rara Collezione, ove il pubblico compatimento sia per approvare ed incoraggire i di lui tentativi. | Il prezzo di dette Stampe sarà di Paoli due l’una per quelle che rappresentano Soggetti istoriati, e di Paoli uno e mezzo per le altre, avvertendo che le spese delle spedizioni saranno a carico degli acquirenti, e si troveranno vendibili in Casa del Sig. Pietro Antonio Novelli Pittore vicino alla Chiesa di S. Lio, ed anche nel Negozio di Stampe del Sig. Teodoro Viero in Merceria di Venezia’ (transcription of prospectus placed in Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 64.394; see provisional census of impressions, below).

7. Details about the order in which the plates were etched are contained in letters written by Novelli to Mauro Boni, dated 23 September 1795-31 October 1797; see Campori, op. cit. (1866), pp.307-329 (Letters 337-352). See Furlan, op. cit. (1998), pp.180-181 for summary.

8. Campori, op. cit. (1866), pp.322-323 (Letter 349, undated). These drawings are ● 1920,0214.1.22 (recto), A huntsman with dogs standing by his horse near a pool with three naked women (image) ● 1920,0214.1.25 (recto), A naked woman (Victory or Venus Victrix) holding a helmet and a pike, infants with weapons behind her (image).

9. Campori, op. cit. (1866), pp.319-320 (Letters 346-347, 27 May 1796, 25 June 1796). Cf. Luigi Lanzi, Lettere a Mauro Boni, 1791-1809, edited by Paolo Pastres (Udine 2009), pp.43, 125, 145, 344.

10. This sheet is now also in the British Museum (1904,1201.1; image), attributed to Marco Zoppo. It derives from a hypothetical sketchbook of the 1470s, from which eight other sheets are known. Elen, op. cit. (1995), pp.247-249 no. 32; Padua in the 1450s, op. cit. (1998), pp.71-72 no. 19.

11. The completion date is confirmed by a letter of Novelli to Tommaso degli Obizzi, dated 9 January 1799 (Biblioteca civica di Padova, CA 1080, Lettera I; cited by Pugliese, op. cit., 2005, p.390 note 32). At some time after the completion of the volume, the album of drawings was sold and left Italy; it is next heard of in the collection of Samuel Woodburn, at whose sale (Christie’s, 27 June 1854, lot 2321) it was bought for 210 guineas by Alexander Barker.

12. Transcription of the Avviso placed in our copy: ‘Avviso. | Si notifica che la Raccolta dei Disegni del Mantegna incise da Francesco Novelli è terminata con il numero di 44. Stampe, e non di 50., come furono promesse nel Manifesto. La detta diminuzione fu a motivo di non aver l’Incisore ben riflettuto, che alcuni dei detti Disegni sono dal tempo pregiudicati in maniera, che alcune cose non restano visibili, e per ciò incise li più conservati. L’Incisore però risolse di compensare a un tal mancamento coll’incidere otto Studj di Madonne originali dello stesso Autore. Essi sono a quattro per foglio, perchè in tal maniera furono dal Mantegna disegnati in carta. Questi sono segnati con più foco, e meno diligenza degli altri Disegni, e ciò per non essere che pure invenzioni. In esse è da ammirarsi un sommo spirito, e prontezza maravigliosa e rara in que’ tempi, ne’ quali tanto usavasi la diligenza’. Another impression of this Avviso is bound in Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, 64.394 (see provisional census of impressions, below).

13. Impressions are found in the albums in Boston Museum of Fine Arts and Harvard College (see provisional census of impressions, below). Dodgson, op. cit. (1923), p.3 and Chapman, in Padua in the 1450s, op. cit. (1998), pp.64-67, mistakenly state that only 48 drawings were etched by Novelli. A passage in one of Novelli’s letters to Abate Boni (dated 1797) leaves no doubt that the process used was etching, not engraving (Campori, op. cit., 1866, Letter 350, p.324).

14. Campori, op. cit. (1866), pp.315-316 (Letter 343, 24 February 1796).

15. Campori, op. cit. (1866), p.312 (Letter 341, 6 January 1796).

16. T. Rodd’s catalogue for MDCCCXXXVII. Part III: Arts and Sciences, and Natural History (London: T. Rodd, 1837), p.50, item 1114: ‘Mantegna (Andrea de) Stampe de, a Series of Engravings from the Designs of Andrew de Mantegna, impressions before the letters. Rare, £3 | fol. Venez. 1795’ (entry). The set was reoffered in Rodd’s Catalogue of Books. Part III. Containing Arts and Science, and Natural History (London: Thomas Rodd, 1847), p.133, item 2698 (entry).

17. Rudolph Weigel, Kunst-Katalog. Zweite Abtheilung (Leipzig 1843), pp.13-14 no. 8486. According to Weigel, if these proofs had been printed on old paper, they would be indistinguishable from prints of the fifteenth century (‘Probedrücke vor d. Schrift, welche, wenn einzeln und auf altes Papier gedruckt sie vorkommen sollten, selbst das geübteste Auge täuschen, und leichtlich für unbekannte Originalstiche des Mantegna ausgegeben werden können’). Cf. Georg K. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon (Munich 1835-1852), X, pp.281-282 (entry).

18. Examined by Campbell Dodgson, 29 January 1932 (memorandum tipped into the BM album 163*.c.15). Possibly to be identified with Captain R. Johnson, Bilton, Warwickshire; Fourth Cavalry, Indian Army (London Gazette, 9 February, 1915, p.1324).

19. Weigel, op. cit. (1843), pp.13-14 no. 8486 (48 prints: two impressions of the title (before, and after lettering); two folios of dedication; forty-four plates, without lettering or numbers; entry).

20. See above, note 17.

21. Copy described in the Library’s OPAC) as: title-print (lettered), ‘repeated without text as the first plate’, engraved dedication, and an unspecified number of plates. Provenance: Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) – Davis & Orioli, their ‘Catalogue 56’ (London 1932), item 8 (‘Engraved title-page with bust of Mantegna, 2 pages of engraved dedication to Giambattista de Rossi, engraved portrait bust of de Rossi [sic, in fact a proof impression of the title-print], and 43 pages each containing an engraving after a drawing of Mantegna… The Print Room of the British Museum possesses a set of these plates, which are evidently later impressions, as they have both numbers and letters’) – Alfred E. Hamill (1883-1953), by bequest of Clarice Hamill (1884-1973). Bound in contemporary green paper-covered boards. Tipped into the copy is a contemporary note: ‘This set of plates after Mantegna is unique. I bought it from the artist himself who was not easily persuaded to part with it’. Online exhibition ‘One Hundred Rare and Notable Books / Donnelley and Lee Library Archives and Special Collections at Lake Forest’ (2004), no. 23 (entry).

22. ‘Folio; 55 leaves; contemporary half vellum (gilt-stamped green leather labels), green pastepaper boards’. Provenance: W.G. Russell Allen, Boston (1882-1955), by bequest to MFA (8 April 1964). Collection catalogue. Leaf dimensions 400 × 285 mm. The copy apparently contains the title, two leaves of dedication, 44 numbered plates, and eight unnumbered plates. Among the latter are nos. (i), (ii), (iii) in our list above, a proof before letters of plate 43, and a variant (copy?) of plate 8 (private communication from David P. Becker, 24 April 2006).

23. ‘51 engravings after drawings by Mantegna plus a title page’. Provenance: F.W. Bunton – John Charrington, presented January 1914. Collection database.

24. Provenance: Mawer Cowtan (1782-1847), bookseller, Canterbury, exlibris (King’s Arms Library); Richard C. Fisher (1842-c. 1907?), prepared for a sale announced at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, ‘Catalogue of the valuable and interesting library of R.C. Fisher, Esq.’, 21-23 May 1906, lot 424 (catalogue description reprinted in Frank Karslake, Notes from Sotheby’s; being a compilation of 2,032 notes from Catalogues of book-sales which have taken place in the rooms of Messrs. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, between the years 1885-1909, London 1909, pp.232-233; view), but withdrawn (library sold en-bloc to C.W. Dyson Perrins). The collation in Library OPAC does not conform to image file, which reproduces all eight prints (i-viii, above) not found in the general issue, and the missing print 44 from ‘a photograph from a plate in the British Museum copy’.

25. Bound album (345 × 287 mm), containing 53 folios: title (lettered), two folios of dedication, 50 prints. Purchased from T. Geoffrey Blackwell through the National Art-Collections Fund; cf. Seventeenth Annual Report 1918-1920 (London 1921), p.44 no. 318: ‘the engravings by Novelli are rare, and only an imperfect set was previously in the British Museum’. Frontispiece (lettered, collection database).

26. Examined by Pugliese, op. cit. (2005), p.390: ‘contiene tutte le incisioni, per un totale di 52 stampe (più un doppione leggermente ritoccato), ossia le 50 dall’album di Zoppo ora al British Museum’. In this set, the last two prints are the studies of the Virgin and Child from the Bini collection.

27. Gustav Friedrich Waagen, ‘Über Leben, Wirken und Werke der Maler Andrea Mantegna und Luca Signorelli’ in Historisches Taschenbuch, series three 1 (1850), pp.471-594 (pp.543-544; p.593, note 81): ‘Die königliche Kupferstichsammlung zu Berlin besitzt ebenfalls 32 dieser Blätter, welche eine laufende Nummer und die Namen des Erfinders und des Kupferstechers tragen und meist etwas kräftiger im Druck sind als das Exemplar bei Weigel; da dieses nun auch nicht jene Bezeichnungen hat, so enthält es ohne Zweifel durchgängig Probedrucke’.

28. Title-plate, lettered (image). Unspecified number of plates.

29. ‘44 pp.’ Library OPAC.

30. Incomplete set: title, dedication, plates 1-24, 33, 44 only. Struck on paper with watermark: crowned GF, countermark of three crescents.

31. ‘Title-page with bust of Mantegna, 2 pp. of dedication, and 44 plates’ (Collection catalogue).

32. Title, 2 leaves of dedication, 44 plates: ‘[3] c., [44] c. di tav. Le 44 carte di tav. sono firmate dall'incisore Francesco Novelli’ (Library OPAC).

33. Examined by Pugliese, op. cit. (2005), p.390 (44 plates).

34. 19 plates only (Collection catalogue). The impressions are stuck on a variety of papers, including watermark ‘G.F. sormontate da corona’ (pl. 22) and ‘W’ (pls. 6, 24, 40).

35. Two versions of the title-plate, ‘[45] leaves of plates’ (Library OPAC).

36. Title, 2 leaves of dedication, 44 plates: ‘[3], 44 stampe … Alcuni esemplari riportano dopo c. 44 le incisioni derivate dai f. 11v, 14v, 17v, 22r, 23r, 24r, 25r, 26r, senza numerazione’ (Library OPAC). Internetculturale.it (images).

37. Provenance: Christie’s, ‘Libri, autografi e stampe’, Rome, 27 November 2002, lot 495 – Robin Halwas Limited, ‘Catalogue Six: Books, drawings & prints 1480-1836’, London [2006], item 47. Library OPAC.

38. Volume of 44 prints… Bound in modern blue cloth’ (Collection catalogue).

39. A copy offered by D.G. Rossi, Catalogue de la bibliothèque de feu M. Cesare Pirovano, bibliophile milanais (Rome 1901), is cited by Zeno Davoli and Chiara Panizzi, La raccolta di stampe Angelo Davoli, catalogo generale, vol. 7: Ni-Ra (Reggio Emilia 2008), p.28 (‘Per il tit. cfr. Schede A. Davoli, che lo deducono dal Catalogo Pirovano del 1901, dove si precisa anche che l’album è composto da 1 front. inciso, 2 fogli incisi e 44 tavv.’).

40. Heinrich Gottlieb Gutekunst, ‘Catalog der kostbaren und altberühmten Kupferstick-Sammlung des Marchese Jacopo Durazzo in Genua’, Stuttgart, 19 November-3 December 1872, p.443 lot 4961 (‘Halblederband, Mit 44 schönen Kupferstichen’; entry).

41. Artaria & Co., ‘Catalogue du reste de la collection d’estampes de M. le comte Maurice de Fries’, Vienna, 7 January 1828, p.85 lot 2448 (‘Suite de 45 Est., d’apr. Les dessins de A. Mantegna. Avec une dédicace et un buste’; entry). Cited by Georg K. Nagler, Neues allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon (Munich 1835-1852), X, pp.281-282 (entry).

42. Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, ‘Catalogue of the choice stock of rare books, illuminated and other manuscripts, autograph letters, etc. etc. formed by the late Mr. Gilbert I. Ellis of 29, New Bond Street’, London, 28 October-4 November 1902, lot 1587: engraved title, dedication and 44 plates, boards, uncut (sold to Ellis, £4 15s). This is likely to be the copy now in the Victoria & Albert Museum (see above).

43. In second state, lettered with information about Mantegna: Disegni del Mantegna and below in pedestal: Andreas. Mantinia | Fæcundus. artifex | patauinus | eques. auratus | hic. ingenioso. argumento | symmetriæ. subtilitatem | picturæ. dedit | et. graphidem. æri. scalpendo [the ‘a’ has been redrawn in pen and ink] | in italia. primus. inclaruit | ex. eius. tabulis. membranisq | in. successu. artis. principes | palman. adepti | obiit. mantuæ. mdvi. men. sept. | M.P.D.N.M.Q.E.M.B., lettered below image with production details: Franciscus Novelli inc.

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