284. [Italian]

Master of the Die; VENEZIANO, Agostino. After Michiel Coxcie.

The fable of Cupid and Psyche.

Rome, Antonio Salamanca, 1530-1560

Oblong folio: 31 engravings, ca. 22 x 26 cm, laid paper, pl. 4, 7 and 13 signed with monogram A.V., wide margins (some foxing, pl. 9 scratched/censored at the genital area).

Red morocco, gilt ruled covers, gilt onr. spine with raised bands, gilt title, inlaid morocco doublures with floral orn, signed Holloway. In slip case (spine sl. rubbed and loosening at tail).

Almost complete series of the story of Cupid and Psyche (32 pl.), only the final plate missing.The series recounts the overcoming of obstacles to the love between Psyche and Cupid, and their ultimate union in a sacred marriage, as told by Apuleius in his Methamorphosos (also called Golden Ass). Bartsch thought that the plates were designed by Raphael, but Vasari correctly stated that they were after Coxcie. The latter may have based his designs on now-lost Raphael drawings, which he saw during his sojourn in Rome (1530-1539). Very clear and dark impressions of the 3rd state (of 4), with the address of Salamanca.
Ref. Bartsch XV.39-69.
Prov. James Reiss (1812-1899), German merchant and art collector in London (coll. stamp on verso of each pl., Lugt 1522).

€ 2.500 / 4.000

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