About This Artwork

Master E.S.
German, active c. 1450-1467

Ornament with Women Fighting, c. 1460

Engraving on cream laid paper
95 x 136 mm (sheet trimmed within plate mark)

Mr. and Mrs. Martin A. Ryerson Collection, 1934.443

Master E. S., perhaps the most significant Northern printmaker working prior to Martin Schongauer, popularized this type of ornamental motif, which was widely used as a decorative model for later artists. This particular image depicts five naked women entangled in a mass of vines and leaves, fighting over undergarments to cover their exposed bodies. The comical subject reflects a sort of grotesque humor often found in engravings by Master E. S., especially his Fantastic Alphabet.




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