Francesco Rosaspina (Italian, Montescudo 1762–1841 Bologna)
After Francesco Albani (Italian, Bologna 1578–1660 Bologna)
Engraving and etching, incomplete proof impression
oval image: 22 1/8 x 27 in. (56.2 x 68.6 cm)
sheet (trimmed within platemark): 24 3/8 x 29 7/8 in. (61.9 x 75.9 cm)
Gift of Junius S. Morgan, 1923
Not on view
Rosaspina believed that he could translate the color and style of a painting only if the work was in front of him as he engraved, which is one reason it took him so long to complete this, his most famous print. Because there were long intervals between his visits to Milan, where Albani's painting was located, several proofs in different stages of completion survive. Albani's famous painting of dancing cupids, now in the Pinacoteca di Brera, Milan, is based on Ovid's account of Proserpina's ravishment by Pluto (the Greek Hades). See 45.78.123 for the finished state.
Signature: signed in pencil, bottom R. corner: F. Rosaspina (see inscriptions)
Inscription: Graphite, bottom R. corner, probably autograph: Vi sono molte cose da coreggere anche nel [illegible]/ F. Rosaspina Graphite, bottom edge, R. of center, another hand: Proof [illegible words] Graphite, bottom L. corner, another hand: a1211
Junius Spencer Morgan; Donor: Junius Spencer Morgan
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art [The Met Breuer]. "Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible," March 18–September 4, 2016.
Aloys Apell Handbuch für Kupferstiichsammler ; oder, Lexicon der vorzüglichsten Kupferstecher des XIX. Jahrhunderts, welche in Liniernmanier gearbeitet haben, sowie Beschreibung ihrer besten und gesuchtesten Blätter... A. Danz, Leipzig, 1880, cat. no. 12.