Battle of the Nudes Artist: Antonio del Pollaiuolo (Italian, ca. 1432–1498)

ca. 1490

Prints and Drawings

Antonio del Pollaiuolo's image of ten naked men battling is an icon of Italian Renaissance printmaking, and the Yale University Art Gallery's impression is one of the best in America. It has been suggested that the composition illustrates an episode from Roman history or that it commemorates the death of a notable contemporary Florentine, but no explanation has found general acceptance. Whatever the iconographic content, the energetically gesturing figures are typical of the artist, as can be seen by a comparison of the engraving with the Gallery's painting by Pollaiuolo, Hercules and Deianira (1871.42); the archer at upper left in the print could almost be Hercules in the painting, turned to be seen from the front.




15 3/4 × 22 13/16 in. (40 × 58 cm)
framed: 25 × 31 × 1 1/2 in. (63.5 × 78.74 × 3.81 cm)

Credit Line

Maitland F. Griggs, B.A. 1896, Fund

Accession Number



15th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Alfred Morrison; Julian Marshall; Seasongood (collections); Part I, Seasongood COllection sale, auction, Parke-Bernet Galleries, Nov. 6, 1951, through Knoedler.
  • Susan B. Matheson, Art for Yale: A History of the Yale University Art Gallery (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2001), 134, 139, fig. 137
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

engravings, figures (representations), histories (visual works), human figures (visual works)


battles nudes


Watermark: Hind 89, Bird (similar to Br. 12145-52)

Technical metadata and APIs


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