Giovanni Battista de' Cavalieri

[The Battle of Lepanto]

Size : 50 x 60,1 cm
Color : NB
Condition : Très bon
Reference : 054

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A major confrontation of the sixteenth century, the Battle of Lepanto is an event that has given rise to an important iconography.

This naval brawl took place on October 7, 1571, in the Gulf of Patras, during the fourth Venetian-Ottoman war. The Catholic states around the Mediterranean, united in a Holy League, won an important victory over the Ottoman Empire. Numerous artists, including Veronese, Bernadino Monaldi and Jacopo Ligozzi, produced compositions representing this confrontation. Giorgio Vasari, the famous painter and art historian, also immortalized this naval battle in 1572 in a fresco painted for the Sala Regia of the Vatican Palace. The work served as inspiration for Giovanni Battista de' Cavalieri who interpreted it, at the same period, in this engraving.

Initially intended to illustrate the Vitæ et res gestæ pontificum Romanorum et Romanæ ecclesiæ cardinalium by Alfonso Chacón (Alphonsus Ciacconius), this print was obviously printed several times. The present copy corresponds to the state "II-b" listed in Monica Scorsetti's 2002 catalog of the artist's prints.

Giovanni Battista de' Cavalieri brilliantly reinterprets the Vasarian fresco in this very rare print. He brilliantly captures the shock of the confrontations as well as the gigantism of this naval battle. The engraver also uses the symbolic and allegorical system set up by Giorgio Vasari. The print is also embellished with an important letter that provides many explanations. Inscription and dating in the letter of the print: "Io Bapta de Cavallerijs (...) MDLXXII".

Carl Heinrich von Heinecken, Dictionary of the artists whose prints we have. III. Bl-Caz, Leipzig, J. G. I. Breitkopft, 1789, t. III, p. 710. 
Charles Le Blanc, Manuel de l'amateur d'estampes, Paris, P. Jannet, 1854, t. I, cat. n° 41, p. 616. 
Paola Pizzamano, Giovanni Battista Cavalieri: un incisore trentino nella Roma dei papi del Cinquecento: Villa Lagarina 1525 - Roma 1601, Rovereto, Nicolodi, 2001, p. 98. 
Monica Scorsetti, "Giovanni Battista De Cavalieri. Catalogo delle stampe sciolte (II parte)," in Grafica d'arte, Anno XIII, no. 50, April-June 2002, cat. no. 91, state II b, p. 7.

Giovanni Battista de' Cavalieri