Master of the Die
Bartsch 34 ii/II; The Illustrated Bartsch 34 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 in plate lower right: "ANT LAFRERII FORMIS"; inscribed in plate lower center: "RAPHA.VR.IN". Inscribed with the Master of the Die "B" monogram lower right. A strong, rich and brilliant mid-sixteenth century impression, in fine condition aside from two wormholes in lower right by feet of putti, with 1/2 inch left and bottom margins, 3/4 inch right margin, and trimmed to image borderline on top.
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, also named 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. Verini 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.