The Holy Mountain, folio 3 from The Holy Mountain (Monte Sancto di Dio)

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

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  • A work made of engraving in black with letterpress on verso, on ivory laid paper.

Date:

1477

Artist:

Baccio Baldini (Italian, c. 1436-1487)
text by Antonio Bettini, Bishop of Foligno (Italian, 1396-1487)

About this artwork

A pair of prints from opposite sides of the Alps demonstrates the didactic capabilities of devotional printmaking. Both depict a sacred mountain that the soul must climb toward heaven. In Baccio Baldini’s extremely early engraved book illustration of an Italianate ladder of virtues, a monk successfully ascends, while a fashionable young man is dragged away by a demon representing worldly pleasures. Its thistle-laden German counterpart (1947.473) consists of banderole rungs filled with xylographic text and a crowned Christ waiting in glory. A nun kneeling at the bottom may have commissioned the print. She envisions a torturous journey up the steep incline, her twelve-step program advocating different Christian virtues: faith, generosity, modesty, constancy, justice, strength, will, patience, obedience, humility and at long last, divinity.

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Prints and Drawings

Artist

Baccio Baldini

Title

The Holy Mountain, folio 3 from The Holy Mountain (Monte Sancto di Dio)

Origin

Italy

Date

1477

Medium

Engraving in black with letterpress on verso, on ivory laid paper

Dimensions

257 x 185 mm (plate); 275 x 189 mm (sheet)

Credit Line

Restricted gift of the Blum-Kovler Foundation

Reference Number

1968.419

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 .

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