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ID number:  BIRBI-69.4
Institution:  The Barber Institute of Fine Arts
Artist / Maker:  Master F.G. (dates unknown)
Title / Object name:  Vulcan and the Cyclops forging Cupid's arrows
Object type:  Print
Place made:  Bologna?
Culture:  German
Date made:  1540s
Materials:  Engraving
Provenance:  Purchased from Christopher Mendez, June 1969, for £60

When representing classical gods and goddesses, Renaissance and later artists naturally followed antique practice and depicted them nude. It was accepted that the ideal bodies most deities inevitably possessed was best expressed in the undraped figure. This print is after a study for the king’s cabinet at Fontainebleau (near Paris) by the Italian artist Francesco Primaticcio (1504-1570). The god Vulcan and his followers, the
Cyclops, are shown naked, striking similar poses but from different angles. The effect is not unlike a sequence of studies of a model by members of a life class.

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