Sheet: 42.4 x 60.9 cm (16 11/16 x 24 in.); Platemark: 42 x 60.4 cm (16 9/16 x 23 3/4 in.)
Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1967.127
Catalogue raisonné: Hind I,191,D.I.1 ; Bartsch XIII.202.2
Considered a groundbreaking work in the history of the Italian Renaissance, the CMA holds the only known impression of the print's first state.
This engraving is one of the earliest Renaissance prints to portray the nude male body in action. Antonio del Pollaiuolo’s grimacing warriors appear like clones in different poses. The print may have functioned as a model for workshop apprentices studying human anatomy while learning to draw; however, the artist’s Latin signature suggests it also had an audience educated in literature. Art historians remain uncertain whether Pollaiuolo intended to depict a particular story or historical event. It is possible he created a deliberately ambiguous allegory that would appeal to patrons interested in interpreting symbols. For example, the continuous chain shared by the two central men could refer to an ancient idea that the body is the chain of the soul, only to be released in death.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email [email protected].
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.