A large collection of engravings from the series is in the collection of Villa Confalonieri in Merate, Italy. A description on the Lombardia Beni Culturali web site states that they were apparently based on ones appearing in Antonio Francesco Gori’s Museum Florentium, a 12-volume compendium of engravings after works of arts in major Florentine collections published by Francesco Moücke between 1731-66. The images in Museum Florentium were drawn by Giovanni Domenico Campiglia and engraved by Pietro Antonio Pazzi. Lasinio’s version, published between 1791 and 1796, included 324 portraits of painters, sculptors and architects reformatted to a uniform size, some drawn from Museum Florentium and some from other engravings by Pazzi.
The original oil paintings that were the sources of these three engravings are in the Uffizi Gallery collection. The portrait of Tintoretto is based on his Self-Portrait with a Book (c. 1585) and the one of Romano is based on a self-portrait from c. 1538-40. From the first half of the 18th century, the painting of Leonardo da Vinci was believed to be a self-portrait, but in 1938 x-ray analysis showed that it was made at least a century after da Vinci’s death in 1519.
The Count Carlo Lasinio (1759-1838) was an Italian painter, etcher, engraver and curator. Lasinio was born in Treviso. After studying painting in Venice, he concentrated on engraving and by 1780 was working in Florence as an engraver after important paintings, notably the frescoes of Pietro da Cortona in the Palazzo Pitti, and more than 350 etchings after portraits and self-portraits of artists in the Uffizi and Florentine collections. Lasinio was always interested in mastering advanced printmaking techniques. His major influences were Francesco Bartolozzi, whose stipple engravings were widely admired at the time, and Edouard Gautier d’Agoty, a French engraver who had settled in Italy and from whom he learned an innovative color printing technique involving applying different colors of inks to the plate, making the prints look more like original drawings or watercolors. In 1806, Lasinio moved to Pisa, where he taught at the Academy of Fine Arts and became the curator of the Gallery of Pisa. He is known for a series of engravings of the frescoes of Campo Santo at Pisa (1810).
Condition: Each generally very good, well colored, with the usual overall light toning, wear, handling. Some minor staining and discoloration patches to blue mats of Tintoretto and Romano. Romano print with a bit more toning and slight darkening overall; still very good.
“Leonardo da Vinci Pitt. Scul. e Archit. nato in Vinci Castello del Distretto Fiorentino nel 1445, morto nel 1520. 3.” [Leonardo da Vinci, Painter, Sculptor and Architect born in Vinci Castle of the Florentine District in 1445, died in 1520.]
“Giulio Pippi d[ett]o Giulio Romano. Pitt. e Archit. nato in Roma nel 1492, morto nel 1546. 19.” [Giulio Pippi called Giulio Romano, Painter and Architect born in Rome in 1492, died in 1546.]
“Jacopo Robusti, d[ett]o il Tintoretto. Pittore, nato in Venezia nel 1512, morto nel 1594. 28.” [Jacopo Robusti, called Tintoretto. Painter, born in Venice in 1512, died in 1594.]
Condition: Each generally very good, well colored, with the usual overall light toning,wear, handling. Some minor staining and discoloration patches to blue mats of Tintoretto and Romano.
Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 5, p. 421.
Burch, Robert M. Colour Printing and Colour Printers with a Chapter on Modern Processes. Edinburgh: Paul Harris, 1983. pp. 64-65.
“Carlo Lasinio engraver.” Antichità: Il Tempo Ritrovato. http://www.antichitailtemporitrovato.it/?pag=486 (21 August 2014).
Hind, Arthur M. A History of Etching and Engraving from the 15th Century to the Year 1914. London: Constable and Co., 1927. p. 310.
“The Face of Da Vinci: An Enduring Mystery.” Discovery News. 12 December 2012. http://news.discovery.com/history/art-history/da-vinci-face-renaissance-mystery.htm (21 August 2014).
Virgilio, Giovanna. “Raccolta di 324 ritratti di artisti eccellenti.” Lombardi Beni Culturali. 29 March 2010. http://www.lombardiabeniculturali.it/stampe/schede/LC080-00006/ (21 August 2014).