LEON DAVENT (ACTIVE 1540-1556) AFTER LUCA PENNI (CIRCA 1500/04 - 1577)
Christ descending into Limbo
etching, circa 1547, on laid paper, watermark Basel Crozier (not in Briquet or Heawood), a very good, lightly tonal impression of this very rare print
Plate 355 x 282 mm.
Christie's, London, 10 December 1997, lot 15.
Eric G. Stanley (1923-2018), Oxford; acquired at the above sale.
Bartsch XVI.310.2; Zerner; Jenkins LD 84
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Lot Essay

A closely related drawing of nearly the same dimensions by Luca Penni has only recently been discovered and is now at the Metropolitan Museum, New York (inv. no. 2014.264). Penni's composition borrows various ideas and elements from Dürer's woodcuts for the Large and Small Passions, which in turn are inspired by Mantegna's engraving of the same subject.

Catherine Jenkins records a total of eight impressions in public collections, including two examples at the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, with the same watermark. She believes that this paper was not used at Fontainebleau and that these impressions where printed elsewhere, presumably in the 1550s.

We are grateful to Catherine Jenkins, London, for her help in cataloguing this lot.
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