Hercules and Antaeus

Artist: Ugo da Carpi (Italian, Carpi ca. 1480–1532 Bologna)

Artist: After Raphael (Raffaello Sanzio or Santi) (Italian, Urbino 1483–1520 Rome)

Date: ca. 1517–18

Medium: Chiaroscuro woodcut printed from two blocks in green-blue

Dimensions: Sheet: 11 15/16 x 8 7/8 in. (30.3 x 22.6 cm)

Classification: Prints

Credit Line: Rogers Fund, 1922

Accession Number: 22.67.80


Ugo da Carpi was one of the most accomplished makers of woodcuts working in Italy in the first half of the sixteenth century. He translated into chiaroscuro prints designs of Raphael, Parmigianino, and others. The present composition had been engraved by Marcantonio Raimondi, the celebrated printmaker active in Rome in the first quarter of the sixteenth century. Carpi used Marcantonio's engraving as his model, faithfully capturing not only the compositional details but also the full range of the print's tonal values. He produced this effect with a sophisticated use of two woodblocks. A key block, inked in black, delineated the composition, then a tone block, inked in greenish blue, provided the middle tone. Areas in the tone block were crisply cut out, allowing the white of the paper to act as highlights.

For discussion of this print, see N. Takahatake, 'The chiaroscuro woodcut in Renaissance Italy', exhibt. cat., LACMA, Los Angeles, 2018, no.12