Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History



  • The Drunken Silenus ("The Tazza Farnese"), ca. 1597–1600
    Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 1560–1609)
    Engraving printed in brown ink; Plate: 9 15/16 x 9 15/16 in. (25.3 x 25.3 cm) (in diameter); sheet: 12 15/16 x 11 1/8 in. (32.8 x 28.2 cm); mount: 13 15/16 x 11 1/8 in. (35.4 x 28.2 cm)
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1927 (27.78.1.150)

    At the same time that Annibale was decorating the Palazzo Farnese in Rome with spirited frescoes, including a Bacchic procession, he and his brother Agostino were asked to create two engraved silver vessels. While Agostino never completed his—perhaps due to the reported quarrels that arose between the brothers—the decorated section of Annibale's cup, or tazza, survives in the Museo di Capodimonte in Naples, along with a matching silver bread plate engraved by Francesco Villamena (ca. 1565–1624) that duplicates Annibale's design for the figure group.

    The print above was likely made directly from the silver cup. We know that impressions were taken from Annibale's tazza in the eighteenth century, when it belonged to the royal court in Naples. The print dealer and connoisseur Pierre-Jean Mariette (1694–1774) recorded his receipt of one, produced using a method he himself had devised. The difficulties of printing lay in the slight curve of the surface and the interference of the rim, which prevented the silver object from being run through a press as was normally required to force the ink from the engraved lines onto the paper. Mariette noted that the result had some neigeuse passages but that this was inevitable. Such a "snowy" or blurry quality is apparent in the lower border

    Related


    Not on view
    Move Separator Print
    Close
  • The Drunken Silenus ("The Tazza Farnese"), ca. 1597–1600
    Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 1560–1609)
    Engraving printed in brown ink; Plate: 9 15/16 x 9 15/16 in. (25.3 x 25.3 cm) (in diameter); sheet: 12 15/16 x 11 1/8 in. (32.8 x 28.2 cm); mount: 13 15/16 x 11 1/8 in. (35.4 x 28.2 cm)
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1927 (27.78.1.150)
    Study for The Drunken Silenus ("The Tazza Farnese"), 1597–1601
    Annibale Carracci (Italian, Bolognese, 1560–1609)
    Pen and brown ink and wash over black chalk, border incised for transfer; 10 1/16 x 10 1/16 in. (25.5 x 25.5 cm) in diameter
    Harris Brisbane Dick Fund and Rogers Fund, 1972 (1972.133.4)

    Annibale produced a number of preparatory sketches for the cup, in which the border is incised for transfer. Close examination reveals that Annibale was revising as he transferred the design to the silver, but the border of grape vines and baby fauns in the print that reverses the finished composition follows the indented lines closely. The figural scene is not incised in the drawing and differs slightly from the cup and the print. The shift in the position of the figures is accompanied by a change of accessory: The thyrsos, a staff carried by followers of Bacchus, has been replaced by the shepherd's crook that is an attribute of Pan.


    Move
    Close