Targhe ed altri ornati di varie e capricciose invenzioni (Cartouches and other ornaments of various and capricious invention, page 12)

After Jacob Floris Central European
Publisher Carlo Losi Italian

Not on view

This album contains several print series with designs for strapwork cartouches. The first half of the album consists of plates from the series "Targhe ed altri ornate d varie e cappriciose invenzione (…)", published in Rome by Carlo Losi in 1773. The series is made up out of Italian copies in reverse after several print series originally published in Antwerp in the sixteenth century. The Italian copies were likely made soon after, likely in the context of Antonio Lafreri’s publishing ventures in Rome. Losi obtained the old plates combined them into one series of twenty-five prints. The title plate and following eleven prints are copied after the series "Veelderhande cierlijcke Compertimenten (…)", designed by Jacob Floris and published by Hans Liefrinck in 1564. These are followed by copies in reverse (with some alterations) after Hans Vredeman de Vries’ series "Variarum Protractionum", first published by Gerard de Jode in 1555. Most, but not all of these plates, are accompanied by a second impression of the same print on the facing page. These are darker in tone, and pasted onto a thicker sheet of paper, rather than printed directly onto the album page. They may derive from an earlier edition of the Italian series, although they do not contain inscriptions that refer to Lafreri or Iacomo Marucci who are known to have owned the plates before Losi. In one case, Losi’s plate is combined with a copy in reverse in a less accomplished hand. The second half of the album consists of a series of smaller prints containing strapwork cartouches with masks and short inscriptions in French, often attributed to Cornelis Bos. However, two versions of this series were produced during the sixteenth century: one with the cartouches on a blank ground, and one with the images in reverse and presented on a hatched ground. The latter versions is the one included in this album, which is further distinguished by the fact that it features landscapes instead of inscriptions in those cases where the compartment was filled with a text alone. This feature is reminiscent of various prints of the so-called School of Fontainebleau. One outlier is formed by a cartouche with and alphabet in majuscules. The design of the cartouche is close to those designed by the enigmatic artists Benedetto Battini for Hieronymus Cock’s 1553 series of strapwork cartouches with quotations in Latin, but it is not a copy. This print is signed with the initials of the French artist Georges Reverdy, which has previously led to the idea that Reverdy might be the artist responsible for the entire series of cartouches on a hatched ground. The difference in the execution of the prints speaks against this hypothesis, however.

The album was likely assembled by William Stirling Maxwell whose initials are stamped into the leather binding. His ex libris reproduces one of the prints after Hans Vredeman the Vries found in the album, and his monogram was also added into the compartment of one of the prints.

Targhe ed altri ornati di varie e capricciose invenzioni (Cartouches and other ornaments of various and capricious invention, page 12), After Jacob Floris (Central European, 1524–1581), Etching and engraving

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