MARCANTONIO RAIMONDI (after Raphael) The Judgment of Paris.
Engraving, circa 1510-20. 292x434 mm; 11 1/2x17 inches, narrow margins. Second state (of 2), though with the address of Salamanca, lower right, effaced during printing. Ex-collection unknown collector, red ink stamp verso (not in Lugt). A very good, dark and well-inked impression of this important engraving.
Of the nearly 250 engravings created by Raimondi (circa 1480-circa 1534), approximately 50 are known to be based on designs by the famous Renaissance artist Raphael (1483-1520). The 16th century Florentine artist and chronicler Giorgio Vasari credited Raimondi and Raphael with inventing "reproductive printmaking" and thereby the market for prints made after famous paintings and sculpture, which is still thriving to this day. Vasari claimed that Raimondi's engravings were produced after paintings and frescoes by Raphael and that Raphael had a significant role in the production and marketing of these engravings. Though recent scholarship has shown that for the most part Raimondi (and his "school" or workshop, including Agostino Veneziano, among others) worked from drawings by Raphael and that the engraver took the lead in popularizing these prints. Nevertheless, Raphael and Raimondi were clearly close collaborators. Raimondi was depicted as a sediario in Raphael's fresco in the Stanza di Eliodoro, 1511, of the famous Vatican Stanze; he acted as a witness in Raphael's purchase of two houses in Rome in 1515; and Raimondi engraved an intimate portrait of Raphael around 1518 (Bartsch 496).
The Judgment of Paris is based on a small grisaille painting by a member of Raphael's school in the Stanza della Segnatura of the Vatican Stanze and the existence of several copies of lost drawings of this composition indicate more direct ties to Raphael himself. This famous composition has been appropriated, in whole and parts, by many artists over the centuries, most notably by Édouard Manet in Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe, 1862-63, now in the Musée d'Orsay, Paris. Bartsch 245.