ITALIAN SCHOOL, 16TH CENTURY Hercules and Antaeus.
Metal cut, circa 1540. 215x163 mm; 8 1/2x6 1/2 inches, narrow margins. A very good impression of this extremely scarce print with strong contrasts.
This print relates to two other engravings of the same subject, one by Giovanni Antonio da Brescia (1460-1523) and another, in reverse, by an anonymous Italian printmaker. These were likely inspired by an engraving of Hercules and Antaeus from the school of Andrea Mantegna (see lot 4), 1490s, derived from one of several compositions drawn and painted by Mantegna (1431-1506) in Mantua. The atypical arrangement of Hercules and Antaeus facing one another also appears in a bronze statuette by Antonio Pollaiuolo (1429-1498) now in the Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence.