Callot figures; a well-dressed dwarf man to left declaring his love to an old dwarf woman to left, a dwarf man playing the guitar and a dwarf woman dancing with a tambourine to right, from 'Six grotesques' (Six pièces de figures grotesques)
'Six grotesques' (Six pièces de figures grotesques)
Agostino Mitelli II (Italian, 1671–1696)
After François Collignon (French, Nancy ca. 1610–1687 Rome)
After Stefano della Bella (Italian, Florence 1610–1664 Florence)
plate: 5 5/16 x 7 9/16 in. (13.5 x 19.2 cm)
sheet: 6 7/8 x 10 1/16 in. (17.4 x 25.5 cm)
Bequest of Phyllis Massar, 2011
Not on view
Agostino Mitelli, the son of the well-known printmaker Giuseppe Maria Mitelli, had a brief career as a printmaker in Bologna. This prints is part of set of six etchings after Stefano della Bella that represent a type of caricature that was very popular in the seventeenth century. Here, several dwarf-like figures play musical instruments while striking exaggerated poses. Captions running along the bottom of the prints add to the humor of the works by identifying the figures and their relationships. In the uppermost print, the scene of a man playing a guitar to a woman holding a hearing horn is described as “beauties unheard.” In the lower print, the man standing confidently in the middle is described as the “great bandy-legged corporal.” Such characters also appeared in Italian theater and would have been recognized by those who bought these prints.
Inscription: Lettered along bottom at left: 'Stianca cuori' and at right: 'Belezze inaudite.'
Phyllis D. Massar; Donor: Phyllis D. Massar
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Drawings and Prints: Selection from the Permanent Collection," September 28, 2015–January 7, 2016.
De Vesme/Massar. 163.1074-1079.i
Alexandre de Vesme, Phyllis D. Massar Stefano della Bella. Catalogue Raisonné. New York, 1971.