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Description:This fine, original antique Heliograph of Ludovico Gonzaga III and his Wife, Barbara of Brandenburg, by the Italian engraver Andrea Mantegna in the 15th century was re-engraved and published by Charles Amand-Durand in 1870.These faithful re-engravings of classic and historical wood-cuts were faithfully re-issued by Amand-Durand in Paris in the mid to late 19th century. Such is the quality of his re-strikes that Durands prints are now in major institutional collections such a the Louvre, National Gallery, The Met and many other famous Galleries. Please see below for further background on Amand-Durand.
General Definitions:Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy and stablePaper color : - off whiteAge of map color: -Colors used: -General color appearance: -Paper size: - 13 1/2in x 9 1/2in (345mm x 240mm)Plate size: - 8in x 6in (205mm x 1530mm)Margins: - Min 1in (25mm)
Imperfections:Margins: - NonePlate area: - NoneVerso: - None
Background: Andrea Mantegna 1431 – 1506 was an Italian painter, a student of Roman archeology, and son-in-law of Jacopo Bellini. Like other artists of the time, Mantegna experimented with perspective, e.g. by lowering the horizon in order to create a sense of greater monumentality. His flinty, metallic landscapes and somewhat stony figures give evidence of a fundamentally sculptural approach to painting. He also led a workshop that was the leading producer of prints in Venice before 1500.Mantegna was no less eminent as an engraver, though his history in that respect is somewhat obscure, partly because he never signed or dated any of his plates, but for a single disputed instance of 1472. The account which has come down to us from Vasari (as usual keen to assert that everything flows from Florence) is that Mantegna began engraving in Rome, prompted by the engravings produced by the Florentine Baccio Baldini after Sandro Botticelli. This is now considered most unlikely as it would consign all the numerous and elaborate engravings made by Mantegna to the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life, which seems a scanty space for them, and besides the earlier engravings indicate an earlier period of his artistic style. He may have begun engraving while still in Padua, under the tuition of a distinguished goldsmith, Niccolò. He and his workshop engraved about thirty plates, according to the usual reckoning; large, full of figures, and highly studied. It is now considered either that he only engraved seven himself, or none. Another artist from the workshop who made several plates is usually identified as Giovanni Antonio da Brescia (aka Zoan Andrea).Among the principal examples are: Battle of the Sea Monsters, Virgin and Child, a Bacchanal Festival, Hercules and Antaeus, Marine Gods, Judith with the Head of Holophernes, the Deposition from the Cross, the Entombment, the Resurrection, the Man of Sorrows, the Virgin in a Grotto, and several scenes from the Triumph of Julius Caesar after his paintings. Several of his engravings are supposed to be executed on some metal less hard than copper. The technique of himself and his followers is characterized by the strongly marked forms of the design, and by the parallel hatch marks to produce shadows. The closer the parallel marks, the darker the blacks were. The prints are frequently to be found in two states, or editions. In the first state the prints have been taken off with the roller, or even by handpressing, and they are weak in tint; in the second state the printing press has been used, and the ink is stronger.Neither Mantegna or his workshop are now believed to have produced the so-called Mantegna Tarocchi cards.Ludovico III Gonzaga of Mantua, also spelled Lodovico 1412 – 1478 was the ruler of the Italian city of Mantua from 1444 to his death in 1478.Ludovico was the son of Gianfrancesco I Gonzaga and Paola Malatesta.Ludovico followed the path of his father, Gianfrancesco, fighting as a condottiero from as early as 1432, when Gianfrancesco was vice-commander of Francesco Bussone\'s army. In 1433, he married Barbara of Brandenburg, niece of emperor Sigismund.Starting from 1436 (perhaps without the approval of his father) he entered the service of the Visconti of the Duchy of Milan. The result was that Gianfrancesco exiled Ludovico from Mantua, together with his wife, naming Carlo Gonzaga as heir. However, in 1438 Gianfrancesco himself was hired by the Visconti, and reconciled with Ludovico in 1441. Ludovico succeeded to the marquisate of Mantua in 1444, although part of the family fiefs went to his brothers Carlo, Gianlucido and Alessandro. At the time, the Mantuan state was reduced in size and in poor conditions after years of war and large expenses.From 1445 to 1450 Ludovico served as condottiero for Milan, Florence, Venice and Naples, switching his allegiance in order to grant the higher level of peace for his lands. In 1448 he took part in the battle of Caravaggio, and was forced to flee. In 1449 he entered the service of Venice in the league formed with Florence against Milan. In 1450 he received permission to lead an army for King Alfonso of Naples in Lombardy, with the intent of gaining some possessions for himself. However, Francesco Sforza, the new duke of Milan, enticed him with the promise of Lonato, Peschiera and Asola, formerly Mantuan territories but then part of Venice. Venice responded by sacking Castiglione delle Stiviere (1452) and hiring Ludovico\'s brother, Carlo.On 14 June 1453 Ludovico routed the troops of Carlo at Goito, but Venetian troops under Niccolò Piccinino thwarted any attempt to regain Asola. The Peace of Lodi (1454) obliged Ludovico to give back all his conquests, and to renounce definitively his claim to the three cities. However, he obtained his brother\'s land after Carlos childless death in 1456.The moment of highest prestige for Mantua was the Council, held in the city from 27 May 1459 to 19 January 1460, summoned by Pope Pius II to launch a crusade against the Ottoman Turks, who had conquered Constantinople some years earlier. However, the pope was not satisfied with the host city, writing: The place was marshy and unhealthy, and the heat burnt up everything; the wine was unpalatable and the food unpleasant. However, the council ended on a note of great personal prestige for Ludovico with the elevation of his son Francesco to the purple.From 1466 Ludovico was more or less constantly at the service of the Sforza of Milan. He died in Goito in 1478, during a plague. He was buried in Mantua cathedral