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Venus and Cupid, from Archer, M. C. The Illustrated Bartsch. Italian masters of the sixteenth century. (New York, Abaris Books. [1995] v. 28, p. 113) Charles Deering McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University, Evanston.
by Jacopo Caraglio (Italian, ca. 1500—1565)
About the work:

This work is from a series of suggestive engravings by Jacopo Caraglio that depict the Loves of the Gods. They were based on designs by the late Renaissance artists, Perino del Vaga and Rosso Fiorentino. Perino’s and Rosso’s illustrations alluded to an earlier series of prints by Marcantonio Raimondi (after drawings by the artist Giulio Romano) known as I Modi (“the positions”). The I Modi series depicted contemporary Roman courtesans engaged in sexual acts with their clients. For this reason, they were banned almost as soon as they were published (1524) and they landed the engraver and the Roman publisher in serious legal trouble. By contrast, in the Loves of the Gods series, Caraglio clothes the salacious content in classical allegories. Caraglio’s prints then served as templates for Charles Estienne’s depictions of dissected female cadavers in his anatomical atlas, La dissection des parties du corps humain divisee en trois livres (Paris, 1546).

Image used with permission

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