Antonio Pollaiuolo / The Battle of the Nudes / about 1470Antonio Pollaiuolo
The Battle of the Nudes
about 1470

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Creator Name: Pollaiolo, Antonio del
Creator Nationality: European; Southern European; Italian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: about 1432 - 1498
Gender: M
Creator Name-CRT: Antonio Pollaiuolo
Title: The Battle of the Nudes
View: front
Creation Start Date: 1460
Creation End Date: 1480
Creation Date: about 1470
Object Type: Prints
Materials and Techniques: engraving
Dimensions: H.30-7/8 x W.22-1/2 in.
AMICA Contributor: The Minneapolis Institute of Arts
Owner Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA
ID Number: P.68.246
Credit Line: Bequest of Herschel V. Jones

Pollaiuolo was a renowned Florentine painter, sculptor, goldsmith and printmaker. He was the first major Italian artist to sign a print: Opus Antonii Pollaioli Florentini (the work of Antonio Pollaiuolo, the Florentine). Its scale and expressive power was unprecedented in Italian printmaking. Only about 45 impressions have survived.

The theme of the engraving is enigmatic. It may well be an ancient gladiatorial combat staged as a funerary rite in honor of a deceased nobleman. The coarse corn (saggina), depicted in the background, was the staple of a gladiator's diet along with wine and olive oil.

The actual subject of Pollaiuolo's engraving is the depiction of the human anatomy-the prime concern of Italian Renaissance art. Although Pollaiuolo witnessed the dissection of corpses, the relationship of the muscles is inaccurate and the rendering of the figures is stiff. Nevertheless, the conception of the nude as the subject of an engraving is a milestone in 15th century Italian art and a bridge to the complete mastery of anatomical form in the 16th century by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Raphael.

AMICA ID: MIA_.P.68.246
Measurement Unit: in
AMICA Library Year: 1999
Media Metadata Rights: ?The Minneapolis Institute of Arts

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