RE.27 Abduction of Helen?

RE.27, Copy of the Abduction of Helen (?)

Engraving by Enea Vico, 28.7 x 41.3 S (Vienna, State I).

Three States?:

I.  Inscribed on a plaque at lower left: ENEAS. VICCO. / FACIEBAT 1542.

II.  What may be a second state of this print rather than a copy, and the print described by Bartsch as the original, is inscribed on a plaque at the lower left: ENEAS / VICCO / FACIBA / T / 1542 followed by: TOM. BARL. EXC. [Tommaso Barlacchi, the publisher].

III.  Inscribed as above, with the addition, at bottom center: Nic. Van Aelst for.

IV.  The Van Aelst inscription cancelled with two lines, and inscribed at bottom center: Apresso Gio: Batta de Rossi milanese in piazza nauona Romae.

V.  Inscribed as in II but also with the name of C. Losi and the date 1773.

Bartsch, XV, 1813, 286, 30 (State II), as the Combat of Lapiths and Centaurs.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, IV, 118, 30.  Herbet, III, 1899, 48 (1969, 136), B.30.

COLLECTIONS: Bologna, Inv. V.78.  Chatsworth, Vol. III, p.42, no. 76 (State II).  Florence, 16986ss (State II).  New York, 17.50.16-138 (State II).  Rome, Fondo Nazionale, F. Pio Vol. IX, no. 1179 (34899), and Fondo Corsini, Vol. 34 H 16, no. 31028 (State II); Fondo Corsini, Vol. 34 H 16, no. 31027 (State IV).  Vienna, H.B.IV, p.55, no. 76 (State I).


Vasari, 1568, 11, 306 (Vasari-Milanesi, V, 427), stated that “Enea Vico da Parma… intagliò in rame il ratto d’Elena del Rosso.”

Pittaluga, 1928, 182, 181, Fig. 116, Copy A. 182, as after Rosso.

Kusenberg, 1931, 170, as not after Rosso but after Giulio Romano, and as representing the Rape of the Leucippides.

De Witt, 1938, 87, State III, as after Raphael.

Alfredo Petrucci, “Il ratto di Elena,” Il Messagero, Rome, July 29, 1953.

Petrucci, 1964, 61, 100, n. 102, 104, Pl. 58 (State II).

Poirier, 1964, 63.

Ferrara and Gaeta Bertelà, 1975, no. 503, with Fig. (Bologna), as Vico after Rosso.

Massari, 1989, 253, 260-261, no. 9.9 (States II-V), Fig. (Rome, Fondo Nazionale), as Vico after Rosso.

This print, which shows no centaurs and the abduction of only one woman, would seem to be the print mentioned by Vasari as the Rape of Helen.  Bartsch referred to Vasari’s attribution but did not accept his designation of the subject.  Kusenberg seems right in attributing its design to Giulio Romano.


Bartsch lists two copies, engravings, with a late impression of the second:

Copy A.  Bartsch, XV, 1813, 297, as in the same direction as the original but without any inscriptions, and as more beautiful than Enea Vico’s print.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, IV, 118, under 30.

Bologna, Inv. V.77 (1272) (Ferrara and Gaeta Bertelà, 1975, no. 503a).  Florence, 1159ss (Fig.RE.27, Copy, Florence 1159; Pittaluga, 1928, 181, Fig. 116, 201, n. 28, as 29 x 43; De Witt, 1938, 86); 1160ss (very dark).  London (two impressions).

Copy B.  Bartsch, XV, 1813, 297; inscribed at the lower left: Benedetto Stefani incide bat.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, IV, 118, under 30.

London, two impressions (the duplicate: W.3-132, under Prints after Rosso).

Late impression of Copy B.  Bartsch, XV, 1813, 297; inscribed as in Copy B, but also, at lower right: Luca Bertelli for.  Le Blanc, 1854-1890, IV, 118, under 30.

London, 1871-8-12-748 (under Prints after Rosso).  Vienna, H.B.IV, p.55, no. 77.

Copies not in Bartsch:

Small copy, engraving, 14.6 x 21.1 S (Vienna).  Herbet, III, 1899, 48 (136).  London, two impressions (the duplicate: 34-8-4265, under Prints after Rosso).  Vienna, H.B.IV, p.94.

ÉTIENNE DELAUNE, engraving, in reverse of Vico’s print, 8.3 x 13 (Kusenberg).  Inscribed at upper left: 4 and at the bottom center: S.

Robert-Dumesnil, IX, 1865, 92, 303, as a reversed copy of Vico, after Rosso.  Herbet, III, 1899, 51 (1969, 139).  See also Le Blanc, 1854-1890, III, 504, 109, as Delaune after Raphael and as a copy after Marcantonio, which may be the same print, or 108, as the Rape of Hippodamia.

COLLECTIONS: Florence, 7921ss, and 15476ss.  London, W.3-130, and 1870-10-8-2015.  Paris, Ed 4 pet. in-folio, and Ed 4a Rés, in-folio.  Cambridge, Fitzwilliam, Vol. 22.I.11, no. 103.

LITERATURE: Kusenberg, 1931, 169, 170, after Giulio Romano.  Linzeler, 1932, 278, no. 297, as after Rosso.  De Witt, 1938, 136.

COPIES, MAJOLICA: Berlin, Kunstgewerbemuseum.  LITERATURE: Hausman, 1972, 282-285, no. 206, Fig. 206, as from the Fontana workshop.  J.V.G. Mallet, in Chambers and Martineau, 1981, 200, under no. 197, as from Urbino.

London, Victoria and Albert Museum, no. C. 2246-1910.  LITERATURE: Rackham and Mallet, 1940/1977, 193, no. 575, Pl. 90, as by Nicola Pellipario.  J.V.G. Mallet, in Chambers and Martineau, 1981, 200, no. 197, with Fig., with bibliography, as by Nicola da Urbino.  Almost the entire scene is shown in the direction of Vico’s print.