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jacopo amigoni
(1675 Venice – 1752 Madrid)

Narcissus. Etching. 9.5 x 7 cm. "Amigoni fecit". Heller-Andresen 5; Meyer, Allgemeines Künstler-Lexikon I, 633, 7.

The painter Jacopo Amigoni, a productive and characteristic representative of the Venetian Rococo, spent a lengthy part of his active career away from his native city, staying in Bavaria and England. After moving to London in 1729, Amigoni won high esteem there as a decoration and portrait painter. Later stages of his restless career took him to Paris and Madrid, where he was appointed court painter to Ferdinand IV in 1747 only to die a few years later.

While the number of reproductive engravings after Amigoni’s originals is very extensive, the artist produced only a very few prints of his own. Bartsch described a total of three prints, with later authors expanding the œuvre to seven prints in all. It was not until the late 19th century that W. Schmidt and J. E. Wessely attributed the present etching of Narcissus to Amigoni. This charming and extremely rare little work, executed with great deftness and spirituality, shows the young Narcissus leaning over the water and gazing love-struck at his own reflection. The intimate format and graphical freedom lend the work a distinctly informal character, as though the artist had only picked up the etching needle for his own private amusement.

An excellent, nuanced impression with thread margins around the borderline. Minimal aging, otherwise in very good condition.