Lot 21
  • 21

Giorgio Ghisi

3,000 - 4,000 GBP
5,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Giorgio Ghisi
  • Allegory of Life (Bartsch 67; Lewis and Lewis 28)
  • engraving
Engraving, 1561, a later impression of the second state (of six), Lewis' third state (of six) 

Catalogue Note

The Allegory of Life (also known as The Philosopher or The Dream of Raphael) is one of Ghisi's most complex and fascinating works. Although the iconographic significance of this engraving has been discussed by many scholars, no final satisfactory conclusion of its content has been offered. Lewis and Lewis summarise the numerous commentaries and conclude that 'it comprises a figure from Raphael and a figure probably from Leoni, put together by an unknown artist, perhaps Ghisi himself, into a busy, cluttered composition (...) which has resulted in an engraving with extraordinary strength and presence, one that has fascinated viewers for over four hundred years'. Michal and R.E. Lewis, The Engravings of Giorgio Ghisi, (New York, 1985), p. 119.