About this artwork
This unfinished engraving presents the Adoration of the Magi in a cave instead of its typical stable setting. The unusual cropping to a detail of Mantegna’s original painting alludes to the grotesque style of art that was popular at the time the print was made. The word “grotto” (or grotta in Italian) literally translates into “cave,” while the grotesque style was patterned on antique paintings found underground that featured images of bizarre creatures or people, intermingled with foliage, columns, and animals.
- School of Andrea Mantegna
- The Adoration of the Magi (Virgin of the Grotto)
- Engraving on paper
- 378 × 280 mm
- Clarence Buckingham Collection