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Prints and Drawings
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Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
PrevNext2 of 2
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
Engraver: Giorgio Ghisi, Italian, 1520–1582
After: Agnolo Bronzino, Italian, 1503–1572

The Nativity


Engraving, printed from two plates on two sheets of paper

image: 65.2 × 44.2 cm (25 11/16 × 17 3/8 in.)
sheet (joined, and trimmed to plate): 65.2 × 44.2 cm (25 11/16 × 17 3/8 in.)
Everett V. Meeks, B.A. 1901, Fund
It was almost compulsory for sixteenth-century Flemish artists to travel to Italy to steep themselves in the art of the Italian Renaissance, but Giorgio Ghisi made the trip in the opposite direction. In the early 1550s, he worked for the Antwerp print publisher Hieronymus Cock, who commissioned him to make engravings of celebrated Italian paintings, including this one of the late 1530s by the Florentine Agnolo Bronzino. One of three large-scale prints by Ghisi to be issued by Cock, this print, which reverses the painting, emphasizes its glowing light. It also adds inscriptions in praise of Mary. The background details of trees and a walled city are further amplifications by Ghisi upon the original composition. Because it was the same size as the painting, this engraving would almost have been a stand-in for Bronzino’s work.
Made in Italy
16th century
Works on Paper - Prints

Purchased from Hill-Stone Inc., New York


Richard S. Field et al., A Perspicacious Tenure: Suzanne Boorsch at Yale, eds. Lisa Hodermarsky and Tiffany Sprague (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2018), 36, ill.

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 such records is ongoing.