Three Putti Playing with an Ostrich, from a set of four tapestries for the Pope [after Raphael Sanzio (Italian 1483-1520) or possibly after Giovanni da Udine (Italian, 1487-1564)], 16th century
Bartsch 33 ii/II; The Illustrated Bartsch 33 ii/II (state i refers to rare proofs known before letters). From a set of four engravings depicting putti and animals frolicking amid an elaborately garlanded background. According to Bartsch, these four prints were engraved from paintings after which were designed tapestries for the pope. Inscribed lower left: “RAPHA. UR. IN”; lower right: “ANT. LAFRERII. FORMIS.” Inscribed with the Master of the Die “B” monogram lower left. A strong and rich mid-sixteenth century impression in fine condition, with faint collector’s notations verso; trimmed to platemark with some thread margins. Sold as a set of four.
According to Benezit, the Master of the Die is Bernardo Daddi (born c.1512 -1570, not the better known 14th century artist), or “Dado”, which means “die” in Italian, or Beatricius l’Ancien. Bartsch also mentions the name Beatricius L’Ancien and “Dado” but makes no mention of Bernardo Daddi. Other sources ascribe the name B. Vernini as the Master of the Die . His monogram represents a die, often with the letter B inscribed on one of its sides.
The commercial print publisher Antonio Salamanca established his atelier in Rome during the late 1530’s and his successor, Antonio Lafrery, was publishing by 1553.