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The mystic marriage of St Catherine

Cornelis Cort, circle of

* 1533 in Hoorn † 1578 in Rome

Engraving. Size of sheet: 16.8 x 18.4 cm.

After Nicolo Boldrini (c.1500-1655), after Titian (c.1488-1576). 

Literature: Hollstein 123 (Cort);

                  NHD (Cort) R28.

Provenance: Collector's mark in grey ink, lower margin (not in Lugt). 

A very fine and atmospheric impression, sharp and evenly printed, margin all around, in excellent state of conservation. A print of great rarity.

This very rare print depicts a painting by the Titian (1488/’90-1576), which must have enjoyed considerable popularity, judging by the large number of prints made after it. The first known reproduction is a woodcut by Nicolò Boldrini (c. 1500–1566) dating circa 1540, which was previously believed to be by Titian himself.[1] Our engraving has the image of the woodcut reversed, suggesting it was made after it. The plate should be dated the second half of the 16th century and might very well have been made by an artist out of the circle of Cornelis Cort, to whom this print was long time attributed. Interesting enough, our print was copied in the same direction by Jean Appier I (1596 -1630) in 1609. Afterwards, this plate was reproduced by Pieter de Jode I (1570 -1634), who reversed the image of his example (which in NHD is wrongly states as a copy after our print). Finally, the print by De Jode I was copied again by Hendrick van Schoel  (1565–1622).

Our print proof to be essential in understanding the connection between the original woodcut made by Boldrini after Titian’s painting and the later copies that were created in the Netherlands. 

[1] See Passavant VI, p.  235, No. 61; Rosand and Muraro  1976, cat. no. 38A, pp. 182-183.

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