a New Proof State of the Battle of the Romans and the Sabines
The John Rylands Library’s recently rediscovered Spencer Album 8050 contains a proof state of the Battle of the Romans and the Sabines, an engraving pivotal in the short-lived but ambitious collaboration between Jacopo Caraglio (1500–65) and Rosso Fiorentino (1495–1540) in Rome. This proof impression was first printed in black ink, and then densely covered with hand-drawn ink. A comparison between the new proof state and previously identified states of the engraving using a novel technical approach involving long-wave infrared light to isolate the printed lines optically indicates that the Spencer proof state precedes any other known state of the engraving. The use of penwork and printing on this early proof and subsequent proof states demonstrates how Caraglio and Rosso saw drawing and printing as intimately connected, iterative steps in the print’s production.
comparison. In Mamma Roma, Ettore is compared to Mantegna’s
The Dead Christ and the wedding banquet of whores, pimps and thieves
to The Last Supper of Da Vinci. In La ricotta, Stracci on the
cross is likened to Christ on the cross, specifically a Christ on the cross
in the paintings of the Deposition by RossoFiorentino and Pontormo, the low
like the high, the profane like the sacred, the real like the image as if in
notions of gender, camp, and patriarchy.
Comparative examples such as Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks (1947) and Edward
Burra’s Silver Dollar Bar (1955) are briefly brought to bear in his analysis. This
positions Tom more intently as part of a larger networked world of queer
image-makers. Of course, this tactic can go too far as well—Taschen’s 2009
tome, appropriately titled Tom of Finland XXL (for both the large size of the
book itself and the size of Tom’s figures and their endowments), compares
Tom’s work to that of Michelangelo, RossoFiorentino, Paul Cadmus, and