Ornament with Armor and Two Genii
Hans Sebald Beham (1500-1550), Ornament with Armor and Two Genii, engraving, 1544. [signed and dated in the plate lower right]. Reference: Hollstein 231, Pauli 231, first state (of 2). In excellent condition, trimmed just outside of the borderline. 7/8 x 1 1/8 inches, archival matting.
A superb impression of this rare first state.
Provenance: UnknownCollector (Lugt 2368b, with mark verso)
The first state is before the strong third hatching linein the background.
Beham was one of the Northern Renaissance Little Masters, so called because of their eminence in producing small-scale engravings such as Ornament with Armor and Two Genii. Beham was born in Nuremberg in 1500, and may have trained under Durer, though his training is no more certain than that of his younger brother Barthel. He made his first engraving in 1518, and later became known for producing woodcuts, as well as engravings.
This is one of the tiny prints Beham created which no doubt served as the basis for decoration of objects during the Northern Renaissance, objects such as clocks, locks, cups, ceramics, stained glass windows, boxes, cabinets, swords, etc.