(Italian, c. 1486–1527)
Support: Cream(3) laid paper
Sheet: 24 x 19.8 cm (9 7/16 x 7 13/16 in.)
Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1926.441
Catalogue raisonné: Bartsch XIV.356.479 ; Le B. II.112.54 ; Passavant VI.71.56
In this imaginary, idyllic realm, classical philosophers and scholars gather to teach and learn. The men and women in the foreground examine a book of astrological signs. Behind them, a second group studies an armillary sphere, a celestial globe invented in ancient times that became a symbol of knowledge during the Renaissance. A woodcut version of this scene appeared as an illustration in the fortunetelling book Garden of Thoughts, published in Venice in 1540. In that context, the group of three women in the foreground might be seen as the three fates, and the man with the globe as a personification of astrology.
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