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Bertoldo, Bertoldino and Cacasenno, the series of 20 etchings by GM Crespi and L Mattioli

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BERTOLDO COMES BACK TO KING ALBOIN ON A DONKEY TORMENTED BY FLIES (Bertoldo torna da re Alboino sull'asino tormentato dalle mosche)

BERTOLDO SOLVES A QUERY OF THE KING SHOWING UP WITH A SIEVE ON THE HEAD AND A CAKE (Bertoldo risolve un quesito del re presentandosi col crivello in capo e la torta)

BERTOLDO PLANS TO EVADE THE THREATS OF THE QUEEN WITH A HARE (Bertoldo pensa di eludere con una lepre le minacce della regina)

BERTOLDO IS TAKEN IN BY A COP (Bertoldo arrestato da uno sbirro della Regina)

BERTOLDO DECEIVES THE POLICEMAN AND PUTS HIM INTO A BAG (Bertoldo inganna lo sbirro e lo insacca)

BERTOLDO HIDDEN INSIDE THE OVEN (Bertoldo celato nel forno)

BERTOLDINO ON A DONKEY BACKWARDS (Bertoldino caricato sull'asino per traverso)

BERTOLDINO THROWS THE TREASURE CHEST AGAINST THE FROGS (Bertoldino butta il forziere contro le rane)

BERTOLDINO INCUBATES INSTEAD OF THE HEN (Bertoldino cova invece della chioccia)

BERTOLDINO PUTS IN HIS BELT THE DRUNK GEESE, (Bertoldino si mette in cintura le oche ubriacate dalla vernaccia)

BERTOLDINO FALLS IN THE FISHPOND (Bertoldino cade nella peschiera)

BERTOLDINO FLAGELLATES HIMSELF TO CHASE THE FLIES (Bertoldino si flagella per cacciare le mosche)

BERTOLDINO TIES THE CHICKS AND THE RED KITE TAKES THEM AWAY (Bertoldino lega i pulcini e il nibbio li porta via)

BERTOLDINO CUTS DONKEY EARS (Bertoldino taglia le orecchie all'asino)

CACASENNO CON LA MADRE MENEGHINA (Cacasenno with his mother Meneghina)

CACASENNO IS QUIETED WITH A CHESTNUT CAKE (Cacasenno viene quietato con un castagnaccio)

CACASENNO WITH HIS GRANDMOTHER MARCOLFA AND THE HORSE (Cacasenno con la nonna Marcolfa e il cavallo)

DEPARTURE OF CACASENNO (Partenza di Cacasenno)

CACASENNO RIDES A HORSE BACKWARDS (Cacasenno cavalca alla rovescia)

CACASENNO EATS A POT OF GLUE (Cacasenno mangia un vaso di colla)

Etchings, the full series of 20, Bartsch from 23 to 42, all in the second state of two, after the effacement of Mattioli's signature, with the exception of Bartsch 33 (only state). Very good, even impressions, printed on the same kind of paper, often showing the watermark Letters PM in a circle surmounted by a trefoil (similar to Heawood 3033). Full, untrimmed margins. Uneven foxed, other minor faults, otherwise in very good condition. To the plate-mark 225/229 x 145/152 mm; the full sheets measuring c. 380 x 260 mm.
PROVENANCE: Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964); Finarte, Milan, sale 967, 12 March 1966, Asta dell'ereditĂ  di Giorgio Morandi. Acqueforti, gioielli, miniature, opere d'arte antica. Lot 64. Private collection, Milan.

The fundamentally anti-aristocratic stories of Bertoldo has been shaped by the 16th century Bolognese cantastorie out of an ancient popular tradition. They found their written expression, at the beginning of 17th century, thanks to Giulio Cesare Croce (1550-1609) and Adriano Banchieri (1568-1634). These stories, with their popular character, were well suited to the themes of the genre painting practiced by Giuseppe Maria Crespi. This first set of etchings (c. 1710) was the result of collaboration between Crespi and his friend, the printmaker Ludovico Mattioli. Although these etchings, in both their formulation and spirit, closely follow the examples of the prints of Giuseppe Maria Mitelli (1634-1718), the most renewed printmaker in Bologna, and fit precisely into the popular tradition, their artistic and technical quality is much more refined and reveals Crespi's long and careful preparation as a draughtsman. Whether Crespi learned these techniques from Mattioli, or whether, instead, Mattioli was spurred by Crespi's skill to develop his mastery of strokes, remains uncertain. But there is no doubt that a common fund of techniques was used in this first set of etchings. The extraordinary success of this first series convinced the Bolognese publisher Lelio della Volpe to print, in 1736, a new edition of the stories. The illustrations were commissioned to Mattioli only, who etched a new set of copperplates inspired by the first set.
For an accurate focus of the Bertoldo etchings within the graphic works of Giuseppe Maria Crespi see, recently published, Marco Riccòmini, Giuseppe Maria Crespi. Catalogo Ragionato dei disegni e delle Stampe, Turin, 2014.

price: 8.800,00 euros

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