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Object: Bacchanal with a wine vat.

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Title Bacchanal with a wine vat.
Production Mantegna, Andrea (engraver (printmaker)), circa 1475, Mantua
Medium summary engraving and drypoint
Materials ink, paper
Classification prints, engravings, drypoints
Technique engraving, drypoint
Dimensions Image: 285mm (Height) x 431mm (Width)
Support: 285mm (Height) x 431mm (Width)
Credit line Gift of Bishop Monrad, 1869
Registration number 1869-0001-308

This engraving represents a scene from classical mythology depicting Bacchus, the God of wine and revelry. The figures are typical of those found in Greek and Roman art emphasising the naked male torso. Andrea Mantegna has depicted several aspects of the male torso that highlight his skills as a draughtsman. The decorative composition is similar to that on other forms of classical art, such as ceramics and mosaics, where figures are placed in a restricted space with a linear presentation.

Copies of images
Mantegna, lived in the Northern Italian city of Mantua where he worked for the Marquis Lodovico Gonzaga. He wished to distribute his art to a wider audience and also to supplement his income as Ludovico Gonzaga was not always scrupulous about paying his artists. He is credited with having produced over fifty plates from which he could make many copies of his images for sale. This engraving was produced in the late fifteenth century and is one of the earliest prints produced with this technique. It is therefore very significant within the context of Te Papa's prints collection as a founding example of European printmaking.

A second engraving
Te Papa is fortunate to have a second engraving by Mantegna, The battle of the sea gods. Both engravings came to Te Papa from the Danish Bishop, Dietlev Monrad in 1869 when he donated his personal collection of over 500 prints to the Colonial Museum.

Related information

Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.