Allegory of Fortitude, leading a Lion through a mountainous Landscape


After Raphael or his studio. Bartsch XIV. 298.395; Roma e lo Stile classico di Raffaello no. 135
Watermark: Siren in a circle
A fine, soft impression, printing through to the verso as is the case in early impressions from this school. The accidental marks on the plate in the upper left and lower left corners can also be found in the early impressions in the BM and the Albertina.
On the verso there are two pencil sketches, one of a man bending forward while covering his nose , which has been identified by Dr. Grantham Turner as from the right-hand side of the Morbetto, the other of a putto lunging forward. Small, skilful strips applied at both top and bottom edges to extend the plate margin, not affecting the image itself. It is 4mm greater all round than the Albertina impression. A skilled repair on the lion’s haunch, a small plug in the lower plate margin, the sheet generally very intact.
259 x 185mm.

A drawing of the same size, in reverse, in the Teylers Museum, Haarlem, is the model for the engraving and is considered in the above-mentioned catalogue to be Raphael’s own hand. Dente is praised for his articulation of the background landscape which in the drawing is sketched in a vague fashion, as well as his great ability in rendering both the woman and the lion with finely-differentiated marks. Oberhuber is quoted as having found an echo of antique bacchic bas-reliefs in the strong forward stride of the female figure.