Tre Brawl of Bruttobuono (La Barruffa or the Boxers)

  • New
Reference: S34858_AM
Author Francesco VILLAMENA
Year: 1601
Measures: 503 x 378 mm
€1,100.00

Description

Engraving, 1601, signed and dated on plate, at the end of the dedication to Ciriaco Mattei: “Francesco Villamena 1601”. Later edition by Carlo Losi.

According to Michael Bury in 2001, the composition was designed and engraved by Villamena, and dedicated by him to the great patron of the arts Ciriaco Mattei (1542-1614), whose villa appears in the background.

It shows a street fight between the so-called 'Bruttobuono' in support of the Spanish, and stone-throwing, pro-French thugs. In the dedication, Villamena remarks that although this is a low subject ('basissimo soggetto'), of his own invention, he thinks that Mattei will not find it unacceptable. Spanish possession of territories in Southern Italy was widely contested in this period by various foreign powers. The pro-Spanish Mattei apparently gave sanctuary to the mortally wounded Bruttobuono in this real-life event.

Utilizing few types of marks, which are widely spaced and exceptionally neat, and allowing the white of the page to play an important role in defining light and dark, Villamena’s engraving system emphasizes a dynamic sense of rhythm and design.

The plate was among Villamena's possessions at the time of his death and was listed in the inventory of January 1626.

Printed on laid paper, a light foxing on the white margins, otherwise in very good condition.

Literature

Bury 2001, no. 112

Francesco VILLAMENA (Assisi, 1564 - Roma, 7 Luglio 1624)

Italian engraver. According to tradition, he was a pupil of Cornelis Cort, whose engravings he copied, and was associated in his youth with Agostino Carracci. He made few original engravings but reproduced designs of artists including Raphael, Paolo Veronese, Federico Barocci, Girolamo Muziano and Giulio Romano. His output also included frontispieces and book illustrations. Closely related to such northern late adherents of Mannerism as Hendrick Goltzius and Jacques Bellange, he employed an elegant and expressive calligraphic style with perfect control of the burin. In addition to religious and historical subjects, he executed portraits, notably a series of genre figures (Rome, Gab. N. Stampe). In 1594 he executed a series of engravings illustrating scenes from the Life of St Francis. His oeuvre comprised at least one hundred plates.

Literature

Bury 2001, no. 112

Francesco VILLAMENA (Assisi, 1564 - Roma, 7 Luglio 1624)

Italian engraver. According to tradition, he was a pupil of Cornelis Cort, whose engravings he copied, and was associated in his youth with Agostino Carracci. He made few original engravings but reproduced designs of artists including Raphael, Paolo Veronese, Federico Barocci, Girolamo Muziano and Giulio Romano. His output also included frontispieces and book illustrations. Closely related to such northern late adherents of Mannerism as Hendrick Goltzius and Jacques Bellange, he employed an elegant and expressive calligraphic style with perfect control of the burin. In addition to religious and historical subjects, he executed portraits, notably a series of genre figures (Rome, Gab. N. Stampe). In 1594 he executed a series of engravings illustrating scenes from the Life of St Francis. His oeuvre comprised at least one hundred plates.