Solis, Virgil, Frieze with Sixteen Birds
Virgil Solis, Engraving, Frieze with Sixteen Birds
|Artist:||Solis, Virgil (1514 - 1562)|
|Title:||Frieze with Sixteen Birds|
|Reference:||B. 472 (306)|
|Image Size:||6 3/4 in x 1 in (17.1 cm x 2.5 cm)|
|Sheet Size:||6 3/4 in x 1 in (17.1 cm x 2.5 cm)|
|Framed Size:||approx. 16 3/4 in x 11 in (42.5 cm x 27.9 cm)|
|Signed:||This work is monogrammed in the plate with Virgil Solis' initials 'VS' in the lower right|
|Condition:||This work is in good condition.|
Conveying an array of striking birds, Solis clearly exemplifies his mastery at capturing the individuality of each subject while still creating a cohesive composition. With his delicate, curved lines, Solis guides our gaze from left to right across this horizontal frieze.
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|A variety of beautiful birds flap their wings and perch upon branches in this
charming piece. Solis here depicts sixteen birds of varied breeds and types
resting peacefully side by side. Perhaps the most recognizable bird, an owl,
rests in the center of the composition, tilting his head and gazing out at the
viewer. Solis incorporates plant life into the composition, seamlessly depicting
both flora and fauna as they coexist together in a natural element. The ornate
composition consists of flowing, curved lines that guide the viewer's eye across
the horizontal piece, encouraging the viewer to take in each individual bird
while incorporating all sixteen creatures into a beautifully balanced composition.
This work is monogrammed in the plate with Virgil Solis' initials 'VS' in the lower right.
DOCUMENTED AND ILLUSTRATED IN:
1. Bartsch (1980). The Illustrated Bartsch Volume 19 (Part One): Virgil Solis: Intaglio Prints and Woodcuts. Edited by Jane S. Peters. Abaris Books: New York. Listed as catalogue no. 472 (306) on pg. 215.
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Biography of Virgil Solis
Born in Nuremberg 1514, Solis (Nuremberg 1514 – Nuremberg 1562) was a member of a prolific family of German artists. His origins and training are unclear, but he became a draughtsman and printmaker in engraving, etching, and woodcut by 1539 and often signed himself as a painter, but no evidence of that career exists.
Solis' early drawing style employed strong outlines and simple hatching and he aimed to produce popular, commercially successful prints on many subjects. The most notable aspect of Solis' work is his skillful absorption and re-interpretation of other artist's styles, particularly Albrecht Dürer, Peter Flötner, Sebald Beham and many others of French, German, and Italian origin. Solis' woodcuts illustrating Ovid were especially influential, though partly borrowing from earlier illustrations by the French artist Bernard Salomon.
Solis also disseminated contemporary ornamental forms to artisans, who often used his prints as models for furniture decoration, architectural friezes, pitchers, bowls, sword scabbards, and jewelry. His mixtures of animal and vegetable forms on drinking vessel designs helped to break many goldsmiths' strict adherence to classical motifs. Solis' monogram signature came to mean only that prints originated in his workshop, rather than identifying his own designs.
*Biographical information was obtained from The Getty: http://www.getty.edu/art/gettyguide/artMakerDetails?maker=259 Photo: http://media.vam.ac.uk/media/thira/collection_images/2006AT/2006AT6571_jpg_ds.jpg