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Cornelis Visscher

(1628/29–1658, Haarlem)

Portrait of the Art Collector Andrea Odoni. Etching and engraving after Lorenzo Lotto. 31.5 x 38.6 cm. Hollstein 154 II (of IV). Watermark: Crowned Strasbourg coat of arms with lilies, with countermark.

Lorenzo Lotto’s portrait taken in 1527 of the successful merchant and art collector, Andrea Odoni (1488–1548), is without doubt one of the most significant and innovative works of this Venetian Cinquecento painter and at the same time an archetypal portrait of a Renaissance art collector. In 1639 it found its way along with other outstanding examples of Italian painting into the collection of the Amsterdam merchant and patron, Gerard Reynst. In 1655 Reynst commissioned some of the foremost engravers of his time, including Cornelis Holsteyn, Jan Lutma, Theodoor Matham and Cornelis Visscher, to produce a series of reproductive engravings after the major works in his collection. Entitled Variarum imaginum a celeberrimis artificibus pictarum Caelaturae the series ultimately encompassed a total of thirty-four prints, although it was not finished by the time Reynst died in 1658, ultimately being published between 1660 and 1671.

The present etching by Visscher is print no. 26 in the series. The Dutch Republic later brought Lotto’s painting from Gerard Reynst’s widow and gave it to King Charles II of England as a gift in 1660. To this day it remains in the Royal Collection at Hampton Court. Cornelis Visscher’s transfer of the painting to the print medium does full justice to Lotto’s masterpiece. The subtle etching technique creates a maximum of materiality and atmosphere. The print is on offer here in the rare second state before letters. A superb, strong and contrasting impression with wide margins. Minor ageing, otherwise in mint condition.

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