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Allegory: Combat of Animals in the Presence of Man with Shield

A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of engraving in black on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1515/20

Artist:

Master of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Italian, active c. 1500-1525)
after Leonardo da Vinci (Italian, 1452-1519)

About this artwork

This enigmatic image is based on a sketch by Leonardo da Vinci that may be an allegory for Ludovico Sforza, the Duke of Milan and Leonardo’s patron. The fighting creatures symbolize lust, anger, fear, greed, and other base passions, which are kept at bay by Reason: the sun’s rays reflected in the shield.
There are few engravings by the anonymous Milanese artist, who is named after the subject of one of his prints. The master’s soft tones are achieved by stippling and short flicks of the point of the burin, an engraver’s tool with a diamond or square-shaped steel shaft attached to a wood handle. The effect is similar to those of Giulio Campagnola, whose print Christ and the Samaritan Woman can be seen nearby.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Master of the Beheading of St. John the Baptist

Title

Allegory: Combat of Animals in the Presence of Man with Shield

Origin

Italy

Date

1515–1520

Medium

Engraving in black on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

230 x 327 mm (sheet); 224 x 312 mm (plate)

Credit Line

Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Potter Palmer, Jr.

Reference Number

1937.80

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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