E.46-47 Loves of the Gods

Two engravings by Gian Jacopo Caraglio.

Bartsch, XV, 1813, 76-77, 22-23; Bartsch mentions no numbering or poems.  Herbet, III, 1899, 48 (1969, 136).

E.46a Caraglio, Pluto and Proserpina, II


Image, 17.4 x 13.3 S and P; inscribed title and poem below, 3.7 x 13.3 S and P (Rome, cut on or just outside P).

Bartsch, XV, 1813, 76-77, 22, as after Rosso.  Le Blanc, 1854-1894, I, 588, 16.

Two or three states:

I.?  Image alone, unnumbered (assumed state).  This state is also assumed by Massari, 1989, 148.  There is no attached plate below with title and poem.

II.  Image, with title and poem on separate plate below, unnumbered.  The title centered: Plutone et Proserpina; the poem in two columns of four lines each:

Soto l mio cieco et tenebroso regno
passo damor si adentro la saetta
che’ contra Lui non hebbe alcun ritengo
il carro presi, el mio tridente’ infretta
Et mossi a furto glorioso et degno
costei menando fra le’ braccia ustretta
di cui godende hor le fatezze’ conte’
stiggii bella mi pare’, te’ phlegetonte’,

(Down in my blind and dark realm / I walk so much within the arrow of love / That against it I have no defense / I took my chariot, and my trident in haste // I stole her gloriously and deservingly / Leading her between my clutching arms / Enjoying now her beautiful features / The Styx seems beautiful to me, Oh Phlegethon.)

III. Numbered in the center of the small margin at the bottom of the plate of the image: 8.

Fig.E.46a (State II, Vienna, with title on separate plate but poem cut off)

Fig.E.46b (State III, Rome)

COLLECTIONS: Amsterdam (II).  Paris, Ae 32a Rés. (III, 21.6 x 13.4 P, image and poem).  Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 05931 (III) [Massari, 1989, 162, Fig. IIIa].  Vienna, It.I.25, p.23, no. 22, lower left (II, with title, but with poem cut off).

E.47a Caraglio, Saturn and Philyra, II



Image, 17.7 x 13.6 P, including margin at bottom of 0.3; inscribed title and poem below, 3.8 x 13.5 P (cut at P at bottom; Florence, Marucelliana).

Bartsch, XV, 1813, 76-77, 23, as after Rosso.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, I, 588, 9.

Two or three states:

I.?  Image alone, unnumbered (assumed state).

II.  Image, with title and poem on separate plate below, unnumbered.  The title centered: Saturno; the poem in two columns of four lines each:

Chi letto ha di Pithagora la uita
Si coma spesso in altri si tranforma
Et fa da se’ medes’imo partita
Di pria lasciando ogni costume’ & norme’
Creder potra che’ per uirtu infinita
Mutassi io uiso parimente’ et forma
Et nascondessi arhe’a il mio gran fallo
Di Saturno facendomi cauallo,

(He who has read the life of Pythagoras / As how he transforms himself into others / And departs from himself / first leaving every custom and norm // He may be able to believe that through limitless power / I might similarly change my face and form / And I might hide my great fault (phallus) from Rhea / By making myself, Saturn, into a horse.)

III.  Numbered in the lower right hand corner of the image: 1.

Fig.E.47a (State II, Vienna, with poem cut off of attached plate below)

Fig.E.47b (State III, Rome)

COLLECTIONS: Amsterdam (II).  Bologna, Inv. C. 653 (1393) (III).  Florence, Marucelliana, Vol. IX, no. 21 (II) [Massari, 1989, 151, Fig. II a].  Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 05520 (III).  Vienna, It.I.25, p.23, lower right (II, with title, but with poem on second plate cut off).  Massari, 1989, 148, No. 58, III b, also lists: Rome, Fondo Nazionale, F. Pio vol. IX, no. 1160 (34874) (III).


Voss, 1920, 186.

Antal, 1928-1929 (1960, 55, n. 3, 56, 84, n. 2).

Kusenberg, 1931, 27, 162, Pl. XIX, 1, (Saturn and Philyra of the Milan-Boyvin copy).

Becherucci, 1944 (1949, 29-30).

Barocchi, 1950, 64-65, 136, Fig. 41 (Saturn and Philyra).

Pamela Askew, “Perino del Vaga’s Decorations for the Palazzo Doria, Genoa,” BM, XCVIII, 1956, 49, n. 3, mentions that a complete series of the Loves of the Gods is in the Corsini Gallery, Rome.

Brugnoli, 1962, 350, n. 2, mentions the subjects of the prints as belonging to a “classical revival” of the Raphaelesque ambient in Rome; she sees in the Saturn and Philyra a relationship with Parmigianino.

Carroll, 1964 (1976), I, Bk. I, 140-142, Bk. II, 74-80, II, Bk. III, Fig. 66 (Pluto and Proserpina, Vienna), and Fig. 67 (Saturn and Philyra, Milan-Boyvin copy).

Petrucci, 1964, 45.

Hirst, 1964, 122, mentions the Saturn and Philyra as having been done about 18 months after the Cesi Chapel frescoes (the last payment for which was on 3 October 1524).

Kenneth Clark, Rembrandt and the Italian Renaissance, New York, 1966, 203, gives Item 232 of the inventory of the contents of Rembrandt’s house in 1656 as: “One book with erotica by Raphael, Rosso,…”  The reference to Rosso is probably to the Loves of the Gods.

Shearman, 1967, 65, 67, 68, Fig. 32, of the Saturn and Philyra (copy, London), 195, states wrongly that Rosso contributed three designs to the series of the Loves of the Gods, and as done c. 1526-1527, and points out in the Philyra the “splendidly funny image of a horse in love.”

Faglio dell’Arco, 1970, 58, 110, n. 12, 196, n. 4, Fig. 173 of the Saturn and Philyra, speaks of the alchemical meaning of this print.

Zerner, “Caraglio,” 1972, 692-693, mentions many copies of the Loves of the Gods.

Ferrara and Gaeta Bertelà, 1975, no. 132 and Fig. (Bologna).

Borroni and Kozakiewicz, 1976, 616.

Puppi, 1976, 146, n. 14, thought the series had fifteen pieces of which two were by Rosso.

Dunand and Lemarchande, 1977, 191, mention that Baviera was responsible for the prints.

Barolsky, 1978, 105, points out the “charmingly ridiculous image of a horse in love” in the Saturn and Philyra.

Borea, 1979, 367, 373, as ca. 1526.

Borea, 1980, 230, 234, 250 and nos. 621 (Saturn and Philyra, Florence, Marucelliana, wrongly as a copy) and 622 with Fig. (Pluto and Proserpina, Rome, wrongly as a copy).

Burlington, 1980, discusses the Loves of the Gods, but more particularly Perino’s compositions.

Zerner, 1980, 87-89, discusses the entire series as done before the Sack of Rome, and mentions French and Italian copies.

C. Davis, in Giorgio Vasari, 1981, 273-274, no. 32 (Pluto and Proserpina, Rome, 26 M, 30, 05931, as a copy) mentioned the influence of the Pluto and Proserpina on Vasari’s lost frescoes of this subject in the Villa Altoviti in Rome, known from prints.

Chastel, 1983, 160-161, 162, Fig. 81b (Saturn and Philyra, Milan-Boyvin copy).

Lawner, 1984, 37, mentions the Loves of the Gods in relation to I Modi by Giulio Romano and Marcantonio.

Boorsch and Spike, IB, 28, 1985, 99 (Pluto and Proserpina, Amsterdam), 100 (Saturn and Philyra, Amsterdam).

Parma Armani, 1986, 68, 70, 72, ns. 35-37, 321-322, C. III, gave the total number of the set as twenty (on which, see below).

Carroll, 1987, 24, 40, 128-134, nos. 42-43, with Figs. (Vienna).

K. Orchard, in Zauber der Medusa, 1987, 253-256, nos. V, 33-39 (all as after Perino and as copies by Salamanca and Boyvin).

Leone de Castris, 1988, 39, 47.

Davis, 1988, 12, recognized the influence of Raphael’s late style on the Saturn and Philyra.

Carroll, 1989, 9, 13-14, Figs. 24-25 (Vienna).

Massari, xviii, 1989, 117, 118, 148-150, No. 58 (Saturn and Philyra), Fig. II a (Florence, Marucelliana), and Copy, Fig. I d (Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 5922), 162-163, No. 65 (Pluto and Proserpina), Fig. III a (Rome), Copy, Fig. b (Rome, Fondo Nazionale, F. Pio Vol. IX, no. 1145 [34859]); the entire series, 148-187, Nos. 58-77.

Kornell, 1989, 843, Figs. 47-48, 844, discussed the use of Rosso’s figure of Proserpina in Etienne’s De dissectione… (see L.60).

Pinelli, 1993, 80-81, 128, and Fig. 75 (Saturn and Philyra, Milan-Boyvin copy, Paris, Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal), as soft pornography, and a point of reference for Bartholomaeus Spranger.

Landau, in Landau and Parshall, 1994, 159, 297-298, stated that the set is composed of eighteen prints, two designed by Rosso, the rest by Perino del Vaga, and that the plates belonged to Baviera.

Franklin, 1994, 134-135, 160, 245, Pl. 103 (Pluto and Proserpina, Vienna), as full of wit and humour.

In his account of the career of Caraglio, Vasari states that after the Gods in Niches the engraver began a series of prints of the “trasformazioni” of the gods, now called the Loves of the Gods, of which, however, Rosso did only two drawings because of a falling out over differences that he had with Baviera.  Vasari says that Rosso designed the Saturn and Philyra and the Pluto and Proserpina, which are also specified in the “Life” of Rosso immediately after mention of the Gods in Niches.  Vasari also says that the other ten of the series were designed by Perino del Vaga, and engraved by Caraglio.  In the “Life” of Perino del Vaga (1568, II, 36; Vasari-Milanesi, V, 611), Vasari states, but without giving their number, that Perino’s designs were made for Baviera immediately after the Sack of Rome, and engraved then by Caraglio.  Vasari mentions Rosso’s participation in this series before his design of the Sabines print (Fig.E.48, Paris), the engraving of which was left incomplete at the time of the Sack.  As we know that Rosso fled to Perugia shortly after the Sack took place, we can assume that his two designs for the Loves of the Gods were made before early May 1527, but not immediately before if the Sabines scene was also designed before this moment.  It is, therefore, possible to date the designs of the Saturn and Philyra and the Pluto and Proserpina early in 1527.  If we follow Vasari’s account specifically, and there seems to be no reason why we should not, Caraglio’s two prints made after these designs would seem to have been engraved before the Sack.1

Vasari states in his account of the career of Caraglio that the series of the Loves of the Gods engraved by Caraglio was composed of twelve prints, two, which he describes, designed by Rosso, ten, which he does not specify, designed later by Perino del Vaga.  In his “Life” of Perino (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 611), he gives neither the number nor the subjects of the prints designed by the latter.  Bartsch, in 1813, catalogued fifteen, 13 as after Perino, and the two specified by Vasari as after Rosso.  But he does not mention that any are numbered or have titles or poems printed beneath them (although he must have known some impressions with these inscriptions).  However, he does record that his number 17, Janus, is inscribed in the middle at the bottom  • Justinianus •                  • F •, and that his number 21, Venus and Cupid, has at the bottom of the bed above the left foot of Venus the inscription: •  CARALIVS • /_• FE  •.  Number 10 of Bartsch’s list, the Jupiter and Antiope, has a plaque hanging from a branch at the upper left inscribed: I.C.  The Cupid and Psyche, Bartsch 20, is inscribed at the bottom left of the bed: •  CARALIVS  •.

To this group Brulliot added one: Venus mourning the Death of Adonis, the Catalogue of the W.Y. Ottley Collection, three:  Jupiter and Io surrounded by Clouds, Jupiter and Semele, and Apollo and Hyacinth, and Nagler, one: Jupiter transformed into a Satyr, and Diana (Nagler, Monogrammisten, I, 1858, 680-681, and Passavant, VI, 1864, 97-98, 65-69).  This brings to twenty the number of engravings that have been recognized as belonging to this set of prints (see Le Blanc, 1854-1890, I, 588-589, 9-28).  But in the Milan-Boyvin numbered set of copies, Bartsch’s Janus, his number 17, is not included.  This print, inscribed: Justinianus, does not appear to have been designed by Perino, nor engraved by Caraglio, although the print is imitative of the prints in this set.  It never was part of the numbered series.  Zerner, 1980, n. 9, also removed it from the series.  The Apollo and Hyacinth, numbered 12, added in the Ottley catalogue, and the Jupiter transformed into a Satyr, and Diana, numbered 13, added by Nagler, seem not to be by Perino (although Zerner, 1980, 88, accepted the first, as Apollo and Cyparissus, and Parma Armani, 1986, 68-70, 321-322, under C. III, accepted both, followed by Massari, 1989, 170, No. 69, and 172, No. 70.).  These deletions bring the number down to seventeen.  But number five of the numbered set, entitled Giove in Pastore, is by Perino.  Thus it would seem that Perino added sixteen designs to Rosso’s original two, and that eventually two more were added by an anonymous designer to form a numbered set of twenty.2   The numbered set with poems was copied in its entirety perhaps in the 1540s to form what is referred to below as the Milan-Boyvin set.  How many Rosso was originally directed to make by Baviera is not known.  From the evidence now available, it seems that Perino designed sixteen, which, with Rosso’s two, would have made a set of eighteen.  This could have been the number that Rosso was to supply.  But it is also possible that he was to design only sixteen, which seems to have been the number of the infamous I Modi of 1524 by Giulio Romano and Marcantonio Raimondi, which, to some extent, Caraglio’s prints replaced.3

As the titles and poems that appear under the images are engraved on separate plates, it is possible that, as in the case of I Modi, they were added to the series and were not an integral part of their original conception, as suggested by Burlington, 1980, 3.  But no impressions are known with large enough margins at the bottom to prove that a printing was made without the titles and poems.  Impressions without them could simply have them cut away.  If Pietro Aretino’s poems to accompany I Modi were written and printed with the images before the Loves of the Gods was begun, as seems likely, then they would have constituted a precedent for the Rosso-Caraglio series with attached poems.  A full investigation of the poems, their authorship, their relation to each other as parts of a longer composition, and their relation to the images by Rosso, Perino, and a third unknown artist that they accompany might help clarify this problem.  However, it is very possible that as the images are on a separate plate, impressions were made of them alone.

COPIES, PRINTS: On the various copies of Caraglio’s Loves of the Gods, see Zerner, 1969, XXXV, and n. 3; Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 333, 335, under no. 441; Zerner, “Caraglio,” 1972, 692-693; and Zerner, 1980, 88; also Borea, 1980, 250-251, nos. 621-632; Parma Armani, 1986, 321, under C. III; and Massari, 1989, 149.  There are two complete sets of copies of all twenty prints:

I. Anonymous, E.123, 1 – 2.  The Milan-Boyvin set.  Engravings.  In the original direction and size, but with the image, title, and the eight lines of poetry in Italian in two columns below all on one plate; numbered in Arabic numerals in the middle just below the bottom outline of the image.  The Saturn and Philyra numbered 1 (Fig.E.123, 2, Chatsworth); the Pluto and Proserpina numbered 8 (Fig.E.123, 1, Chatsworth).  Number 6, Jupiter and Antiope, inscribed IC like the original; number 20, Venus and Cupid, inscribed CARALIVS / FE as in Caraglio’s engraving.  Except for changes in capitalization and the addition of some punctuation, the poems accompanying the two compositions by Rosso are the same, but in the Pluto and Proserpina “carro” in line 4 has been changed to “cano,” and in the Saturn and Philyra “lasciando” and “norme” in line 4 have been changed to “lassando” and “norma.”

COLLECTIONS: Berlin, 327-1886, Pluto and Proserpina.  Chatsworth, Vol. 2, 72-76 (141-145), nos. 114-133, the full set; p.72, no. 115, Saturn and Philyra, 21.8 x 13.5 S (cut at P), 17 x 13.4, image; p.142, no. 121, Pluto and Proserpina, 21.8 x 13.6 S (cut at P), 17.5 x 13.5, image, slightly spotted on Proserpina’s face.  Paris, Ae 32 a Rés Libre, the full set; Ba 12, p.42; Eb 6b Rés; Sa 1, folio, Saturn and Philyra.  Parma Armani, 1986, 321, under C. III, also mentions Paris, Ac Rés. Libre, as attributed to Boyvin, and with the verses in Italian, which may be the same prints; this is repeated in Massari, 1989, 149, under No. 58.  Paris, Bibltiothèque de l’Arsenal (see Pinelli, 1993).  LITERATURE: Probably Renouvier, 1854, 190, n. 1, 191, as Boyvin.  Zerner, 1969, XXXV, and n. 3, as possibly by Pierre Milan and to be identified with the 20 “Amours des dieux,” 250 impressions of which Milan sold to Claude Bernard in 1550 (on which, see also below under III, the Du Cerceau set).  Zerner, “Caraglio,” 1972, 693, n. 10, as probably copies by Milan.  Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 333, 335, under no. 441, as possibly by Milan (but wrongly as in reverse of Caraglio’s prints).  Borea, 1980, 250, under no. 621, as considered to be the copies closest to the originals, 250-251, no. 623, Jupiter and Io, Paris, Ba 12, 79, and 251, no. 627, 252, Fig., Mercury and Herse, London, 1866-6-23-10.  Boorsch, in French Renaissance, 1994, 81, states that Milan copied Caraglio’s Loves of the Gods, although it is not clear that she means this set.

If by Milan, this set would probably have been executed in the 1540s, if by Boyvin, some years later.  However, although engraved in a manner resembling theirs, the prints do not have the subtlety of Milan’s known works, nor the refinement of Boyvin’s.  But as very accurate copies they may to some extent conceal the usual technique of the engraver, or they may be early works by one of these engravers whose careers are not yet fully understood.

II. Anonymous, E.124, 1 – 2.  Anonymous set.  Engravings.  Smaller than Caraglio’s prints, with images, title, and poem, in Italian, on a single plate.

COLLECTION: Paris, Sa 1, Saturn and Philyra, 11.6 x 7.6, including 1.9 margin with poem; Ae 32a Rés. Libre, nos. 5, 6, 9, 14, 17, 19, 20, but neither the Saturn and Philyra nor the Pluto and Proserpina.

LITERATURE: Zerner, 1969, XXXV, n. 3, and in EdF, 1972, 335, under no. 441, and as after the Milan-Boyvin set, and as possibly originating in Lyons.  Parma Armani, 1986, 321, under C. III, repeated in Massari, 1989, 149, under No. 58, who adds that impressions are to be found in Rome at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica.

From the prints I have seen I do not know if a complete series was made, although the correct numbering of the prints suggests a full set was intended.  An impression of the Pluto and Proserpina is unknown.  From the appearance of the Saturn and Philyra, it seems to be copied from the Milan-Boyvin copy.

III. Anonymous, E.125. Du Cerceau set.  Engravings.  In reverse of Caraglio’s prints, but the same size, with the image, title, and poem, in French, on a single plate.  Numbered at the left of the small margin beneath the image and above the poem.  COLLECTION: Paris, Ed 2b (Du Cerceau volume), nos. 4, 7, 8, 9, 13, 14, 17; no. 8, Pluto and Proserpina, 21 x 13.3 S, including the small margin of 0.7 where the number appears, and the larger margin with the poem of 3.5.

LITERATURE: Renouvier, II, 1854, 209, mentions copies by Du Cerceau.  Geymüller, 1887, 324, as Du Cerceau.  Kusenberg, 1931, 164, as Du Cerceau.  Linzeler, 1932, 37-38, catalogues all seven, as Du Cerceau, and points out that the irregular numbering of them indicates that originally this set contained more prints.  Zerner, in EdF, 1972, 333, 335, no. 441, 334, Fig. (Pluto and Proserpina, Paris), states that the attribution to Du Cerceau is unfounded as no engravings by him are known, and that the prints might be by Milan.  Borea, 1980, 250, mentions these prints in relation to Milan.  Parma Armani, 1986, 321, under C. III (Paris, Ed 2b), followed by Massari, 1989, 149, under No. 58.

Although a full number of prints is not known, the correct numbering of these engravings would seem to indicate that a complete set was intended.  The Saturn and Philyra is not known.  The definition of forms and details in the Pluto and Proserpina suggests that this print was copied from Caraglio’s original engraving.  The fineness of this engraving has much in common with Milan’s technique.

The existence of a set of twenty Loves of the Gods by Pierre Milan after the prints that Caraglio executed in Rome is suggested by a document of 29 March 1550, which records the sale by Milan to Claude Bernard of “deux cens cinquant livres de figures imprimées de lames de cuyvre appellez vulgairement Les Amours des dieux contenant chacun livre xx figures…” (Metman 1941, 206, and 213, Doc. XIII).  Some of these, it seems, were still owned by Bernard at the time of his death in 1557, as well as perhaps four of the copper plates from which they were made (see Metman, 1941, 211-212).

Metman (1941, 206) identified this set with twenty Panels of Ornament with Pagan Gods that have been attributed to Boyvin, the first edition of which is inscribed to Léonard Thiry, the second wrongly to Rosso (Fig.RE.14,1).  This was accepted by Zerner 1964, 81.  But then Zerner (1969, xxxv, n. 3) rightly pointed out that the title Les Amours des dieux is not really applicable to these prints where each god is seen alone.  Zerner has suggested that this title very probably refers to copies of Caraglio’s Loves of the Gods, of which two prints were designed by Rosso.  These copies, according to Zerner, may be identifiable with one of two sets in the Bibliothèque Nationale in Paris, one wrongly attributed to Boyvin, the second, incomplete, wrongly attributed to Du Cerceau.  Landau, in Landau and Parshall, 1994, 297, thought the prints mentioned in the document were by Boyvin.

Other copies of individual prints of the Loves of the Gods suggest that there may have been other sets, but it is also possible that some of the prints were copied separately.

Pluto and Proserpina.  Anonymous, E.126.  Berlin, 327-1886, 20.  Image and poem on same plate, but with the writing small and uneven.

Anonymous, E.127.  Oxford, as a copy after Caraglio (Fig.E.127, Oxford).  Engraving, 17.2 x 13.2 S.  This accurate copy does not have a number, title, or poem, and it is not possible to tell if they have been cut off.

This print may be the same as the copy in Rome (Fonda Nationale, F. Pio Vol. IX, no. 1145 [34859]), reproduced in Massari, 1989, 163, as a copy, Fig. a, and as inscribed in the margin, which is not reproduced: Plutone a P[roserpin]a.

Saturn and Philyra.  Anonymous, E.129 (Fig.E.129, London).  London, 1870-10-8-2033.  Engraving, 17 x 18.1 S.  Cut at the bottom so it is not possible to tell if it ever had a number, title, or poem.  Shearman, 1967, 67, Fig. 32, 195, as Caraglio.  This is a fine copy of Caraglio’s print but somewhat more regularly engraved.

Anonymous, E.128a (Fig.E.128a, Rome).  Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 05921.  Engraving, in the original size but in reverse of Caraglio’s print, and with the title and poem in Italian below, all on the same plate.  Numbered 1 at the lower left just below the composition.  Also inscribed at the lower left of the image: Pirino del Vaga inuentor / Iacobus Caralius fecit.  Borea, 1980, 622, under no. 621.  Massari, 1989, 149, copy, III f, Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 5921, may be another impression of this copy.

Anonymous, E.128b.  Rome, Fondo Corsini, Vol. 26 M 30, no. 05922 (Massari, 1989, 149, copy, I d, 150, Fig. I d).  This print seems to be from the same plate as the one above, but the inscription to Perino is missing.

Massari, 1989, 149, also lists as a copy, II e: Rome, Fondo Nazionale, F. Pio Vol. IX, no. 1161 (34875), inscribed as above with the names of Perino and Caraglio, but without the poem.

On the use of the figure of the goddess in the Pluto and Proserpina in Charles Etienne’s De dissectione of 1545, see L.60.

COPIES, DRAWINGS: Florence, Uffizi, 368S.  Saturn and Philyra (Fig.Florence, 368S).  Pen and ink (a smudge of yellow ochre at the upper left edge), 19.7 x 13.7.  Inscribed in pencil in the lower left corner: 44, and in ink at the top of the verso: da Perino di ago.  Brugnoli, 1962, 350, n. 52, as a copy after Caraglio’s print.

Kept under Perino del Vaga in the Uffizi.  The drawing copies Rosso’s image, in the original direction, but it is not possible to tell if it is derived from Caraglio’s print or from one of the copies.

Rome, GNS, no. F.N. 9619A [Saturn and] Philyra? (Fig.Rome, 9619A).  Very dark wash heightened with white, on dark paper, 13.8 x 4.6 (maximum measurements).  Hermanin, 1907, 15, as Rosso.  Brugnoli, 1962, 350, n. 52, as showing the figure of Philyra but too damaged to judge if it is by Rosso.

Attributed to Rosso in the GNS.  The drawing shows the figure of a nude woman seen from the back with the head turned to the left.  The drawing is very damaged but its technique and execution are quite unlike those of any drawing certainly by Rosso.  It is also not at all clear that the drawing is related to Rosso’s image.  If it is, then the figure of Philyra is shown in reverse and hence must be based on a copy of Caraglio’s print.

Rome, GNS, no. F.N. 9619B.  Saturn and Philyra (Fig.Rome, 9619B).  Pen and ink, 18 x 10.6 (irregularly cut).  Hermanin, 1907, 15, as Rosso for Caraglio’s print.  Kusenberg, 1931, 151, no. 55, as a copy of the print.  Brugnoli, 1962, 350, n. 52, as a copy of the print.

The drawing is a rather mediocre partial copy after the print, either Caraglio’s or a copy of his in the original direction.

Windsor Castle, no. 0494.  Saturn and Philyra (Fig.Windsor, 0494).  Pen and ink (over traces of black chalk?), 18.2 x 13.9.  Inscribed in pencil at the lower right: Giulio Romano.  Popham and Wilde, 1949, 325, no. 880, as a copy of Caraglio’s print.

Derived either from the original print or from a copy of it in the original direction.

Paris, Louvre, no. M.A.2156.  Juno (or Diana), Jupiter and Io transformed into a Cow.  Pen and ink and wash over black chalk, gone over in places with pen and ink.  Barocchi, Vasari, 1964, 135, no. 56a, and Fig., as by Cristofano Gherardi for his fresco in the Terrazzo di Giunone in the Palazzo Vecchio.  Monbeig-Goguel, 1965, 19-20, no. 26, as by Gherardi or Vasari for the former’s fresco, and as related to Bartsch’s description of the Jupiter and Io by Caraglio after Perino del Vaga of the Loves of the Gods, B.9.  Monbeig-Goguel, 1972, 157-158, no. 206, as by Gherardi or Vasari; she points out that the woman at the left in Caraglio’s print is described by Bartsch as Diana, and in the Louvre drawing she has a crescent on her head.

Although apparently related to Caraglio’s print after Perino, the figure of Juno (or Diana) seems also dependent on Rosso’s Philyra, in the original direction, as pointed out by Ronen, 1977, 100-101, Figs. 19-21, but the figure is clothed in the drawing.

COPY, PAINTING: Florence, Palazzo Vecchio, Terrazzo di Giunone.  Juno (or Diana), Jupiter and Io transformed into a Cow.  Fresco by Cristofano Gherardi, 1557.  See bibliography above under Louvre drawing (Fig.Gherardi, fresco).

Specifically related to the Louvre drawing above, the female figure derived from Rosso’s Philyra, but clothed in the painting.

Formerly Rome, Villa Altoviti, Pluto and Proserpina.  Lost fresco of 1553 by Vasari known from a print by Tommaso Piroli.  Charles Davis, “Per l’attivita romana del Vasari nel 1553: incisioni degli affreschi di Villa Altoviti e la Fontanalia di Villa Giulia,” Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz, 23, 1979, 197-224, Fig. 13.  C. Davis, in Giorgio Vasari, 1981, 273-274, under no. 32.

The connection of Vasari’s composition with Rosso’s print of the same subject, recognized by Davis, is possible but not obvious.

COPY, MAJOLICA: London, VA, C.2280-1910, Salting Bequest.  Francesco Durantino, Plate with Saturn and Philyra (Fig.Majolica, Philyra).  28.5 diameter.  LITERATURE: Rackham and Mallet, 1940/1977, 285, no. 855, Pl. 137.  Carroll, 1987, 134-135, no. 44, with Fig.  The plate shows Rosso’s figures set in a landscape with the clouds in the engraving expanded upward to the right to the added figure of Saturn in human form.


1 Following Vasari, it has generally been assumed that Perino made his drawings, two of which survive, after the Sack of Rome (see Pouncey and Gere, 1962, I, 95-96, no. 163, II, Pl. 130; Bernice Davidson, “Early Drawings by Perino del Vaga,” Part II, Master Drawings, I, 4, 1963, 23-24, Pls. 18-19; Davidson, 1966, 23-24, Fig. 15; Oberhuber, 1966, 176, under no. 296; L. Trezzami, in Pittura, Cinquecento, 1987, II, 429).  But Zerner, “Caraglio,” 1972, 693, and 1980, 87, believes that Caraglio went to Venice right after the Sack and that the entire series of the Loves of the Gods was engraved before then.  This would mean that the series was continued immediately after Rosso’s falling out with Baviera and that there was no break in the engraving of the series.  But very soon after this falling out, Caraglio began to engrave Rosso’s Battle of the Romans and the Sabines (E.48) without the intervention of Baviera, which would seem to indicate that work on the Loves of the Gods ceased.  What also cannot be known for sure is whether Caraglio engraved Rosso’s designs as soon as they were made or only later, when Perino had made his.  In order to get on with the project, it would seem only practical that Caraglio began to engrave Rosso’s designs as soon as they were made, and hence engraved these first two early in 1527.

2 An unnumbered print with poem, both on the same plate, which is related to this set but apparently was never actually a part of it, is the Ixion Embracing the Cloud; Bartsch, XV, 1813, 99-100, Appendix 1, as in a manner near to Caraglio’s and perhaps after a design by Perino; Boorsch and Spike, IB, 28, 1985.  London, Caraglio Vol. C.53, p. 59, 29.3 x 17.7 including a margin below of 3.5, with poem beginning: “Nubiloso pensier arse Ixione…”; Paris, Eb 6b Rés.  The female figure (a cloud in the form of Juno) embraced by Ixion is related to Michelangelo’s Dawn.

3 The earliest references to I Modi are in two letters of Pietro Aretino, the first of 9 November 1527 to Cesare Fregoso, the second of 1527 or earlier (but assigned the date 10 December 1537 in 1609) to Battista Zatti da Brescia (Aretino-Camesasca, 1957, 18, no. III, 110-111, no. LXVIII), and in a third letter of 28 May 1527 from the Marchese Gonzaga to Aretino (A. Luzio, L’Aretino nei suoi primi anni a Venezia e la Corte dei Gonzoga, Turin, 1888, 63-64, Doc. III).  The letter to Cesare Fregoso and probably also the letter from the Marchese Gonzaga refer to a later edition of the prints with sonnets by Aretino.  In the letter to Battista Zatti, Aretino recounts that it was he who obtained from Pope Clement VII the release of Marcantonio from prison, where he had been put for making the prints designed by Giulio Romano.  They are called here the Sedici modi.  Seeing these sixteen prints, Aretino says he was moved to write sonnets to accompany them.  Again, reference is made to an edition with these poems beneath the pictorial images.  Ludovico Dolce, in his Aretino, first published in 1557, states through his spokesman Pietro Aretino (Roskill, 1968, 162-165) that the compositions were designed by Giulio Romano, and were engraved for Baviera [di Carocci di Parma] by Marcantonio, and that the engraver’s freedom from punishment was obtained by Aretino.  In his “Life” of Marcantonio of 1568 (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 418), Vasari says that “Fece…Giulio Romano in venti fogli intagliare da Marcantonio in quanti diversi modi, attitudini e positure giacciono di disonesti uomini con le donne, e…a ciascum modo fece messer Pietro Aretino un disonestissimo sonetto.”  Vasari goes on to say that the prints were published when Giulio had already moved to Mantua, that they were decried by Pope Clement VII, and that Marcantonio was put into prison.  His release, Vasari continues, came about through the help of Cardinal de’Medici and Baccio Bandinelli.  The history of I Modi is discussed by Roskill, 1980, 304-305, and by Zerner, 1980, 86-89.  They are also discussed at length by Dunand and Lemarchand, 1977, and by Lawner, 1984, although with uncertain conclusions.

The evidence seems to indicate that I Modi was designed by Giulio Romano in or shortly before October 1524, when he went to Mantua, and engraved by Marcantonio late in 1524 or in 1525.  It would seem that it was composed of sixteen prints, rather than twenty as Vasari indicates (see Bette Talracchia, in Giulio Romano, 1989, 277-279).  Between then and May 1527, at the latest, Aretino wrote sixteen sonnets to accompany them.  An edition with sixteen images and sixteen poems was published, copies of which were sent out by Aretino.  This edition could be the one known from the woodcuts and poems formerly owned by Walter Toscanini, mentioned by Roskill and Zerner, and published in its entirety by Lawner, although these authors believe that these woodcuts are later and are derived from an engraved edition with images and poems, no impressions of which have survived.