Lucas van Leyden's artistic presence in Italy: the influence of his engravings on Italian contemporaries
Dijk, Corinne van
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Lucas van Leyden (1489/1494 - 1533) is nowadays considered the first Northern Netherlandish engraver with an international reputation. Although the Leiden based artist never travelled to Italy himself, his engravings did find their way to Southern Europe. In the 'Schilderboeck' (1604), Karel van Mander acknowledges the engraver’s international fame by saying that many Italian masters have borrowed from Lucas van Leyden’s prints and “applied things in their own works, with occasional small variations”. Certain works of art of Italian Renaissance artists indeed contain motifs which are drawn from prints by Lucas van Leyden. This in itself is not a new observation: almost all monographs and catalogues on Lucas van Leyden mention that the artist’s prints circulated in Italy, leaving their mark on the artists who worked there. However, none of these studies have thoroughly analysed the actual influence of Lucas van Leyden in Italy. In my thesis I have examined how Lucas van Leyden’s engravings affected Italian painting and graphic work in the first half of the sixteenth century. The first chapter of the thesis focuses on Lucas’s training and the stylistic development of his oeuvre. The second chapter is devoted to the origins of Lucas’s prints, which is put in the context of the sixteenth century practice of appropriating motifs from other artist’s works. Chapter three revolves around the distribution of Lucas van Leyden prints to Southern Europe and their reception in Italy. The fourth and last chapter concentrates on the application of Lucas's prints and motifs by Italian artists such as Andrea del Sarto, Bacchiacca, Marcantonio Raimondi and Jacopo da Pontormo.