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The German Standard-Bearer. Engraving. 14.4 x 9.3 cm. 1537. Bartsch IX, 27, 7; Nagler, Die Monogrammisten, II, 2115, 2914, 7.
The identity of the Monogrammist FG remains unknown to the present day. Having detected stylistic similarities with prints made by Giulio Bonasone, Nagler presumed the artist was a member of the Raimondi school. Very different attributions have been put forward in the past – Nagler mentions,
among others, the names of Federico Grenello, Giorgio Ghisi, Girolamo Fagiuoli, Guido Ruggiero and Georg Frenzel – but it has so far proved impossible to pin down the style of the printed oeuvre by the Monogrammist FG. Bartsch erroneously assigned the artist to the German school, but in all probability we are looking at an anonymous Italian master, since the twentytwo impressions recorded by Bartsch include not only works after his own inventions and reproductive engravings after Aldegrever and Beham, but also others after Raphael and masters of the Fontainebleau School such as Rosso and Primaticcio. The majority of these works date to 1534–46. This confusing state of affairs only serves to heighten the fascination exerted by this exotic and unconventional master.
Our picture of the German standard-bearer illustrates the profound effect the art of the German minor masters had not only at home, but also south of the Alps. In iconographical terms it is easy to detect two very comparable prototypes from 1520–28 made by Hans Sebald Beham (Bartsch, Hollstein 203) and Heinrich Aldegrever (The New Hollstein 176). In contrast to the German models, the engraving style of the Monogrammist is somewhat cruder and rougher, particularly in the rendering of the landscape. On the other hand, it is more expressive and has an earthy robustness appropriate to the subject matter.
A superb, contrasting and tonal impression with thread margins. Minor ageing and traces of handling, otherwise in excellent condition. From the collections of Karl Ferdinand Friedrich von Nagler (Lugt 2529), Theodor Falkeisen and Johann Friedrich Huber (Lugt 1008) and the Kupferstichkabinett of
the Staatliche Museen, Berlin (Lugt 1606 and sale stamp 234) as well as from a non-identified collection with the stamp “S.S” (not in Lugt).