|Niccoló della Casa after Michelangelo (Nr. 60423)
For the upcoming Jubilee 2015 here is a bit of Michelangelo's Last Judgement: Seventh of the twelve plates engraved by Nicoló della Casa after 'The Last Judgement' by Michelangelo: angels blowing their trumpets announcing the Judgement while two in the front, holding books are choosing the destiny of souls. Group just below the Judging Christ. For a view of the complete series see Metropolitan Museum of New York, inv. 62.602.652(1).
When the 'Last Judgement' by Michelangelo was uncovered in 1541 not everyone was allowed to see such painted wonder. Print dealers and publishers felt that perhaps print buyers that could not see the original might have welcomed printed copies. As Anne Dillon puts it '[print buyers] would have heard of [the fresco], talked about and would be keen to have as close a depiction of it as possible. The printers did not disappoint. They ensured that their engravers fulfilled these commercial demands and followed the original as closely as possible. This was the approach adopted by Nicoló della Casa when he engraved Michelangelo's Last Judgement in eleven [sic!] plates.' (A. Dillon: Michelandelo and the English Martyrs, 2012, p.150). All the plates of the set have irregular shapes, however this impression has been deeply cut within the platemark until the bell of one of the trumpets.
Bury (Michael Bury, Niccolò Della Casa’s Last Judgement Dissected, Print Quaterly, XXVII, 2010, 1, pg.3-4) maintains that besides the plate with 'Caron's ship' and other three, the present plate, 'Judging Jesus' and 'The Resurrection of Death' were printed to be sold as sigle sheets. Bernadine Barne shares this same opinion (Bernadine Barne, Michelangelo in print, 2010, pg. 106) confirmed by the presence on the print of the inscription recalling that Michelangelo painted the fresco, the source of this print. The inscription disappears when set up with the other plates.
Lettered below on the right:'MICHEL ANGELVS FLORENTINVS PINXIT IN VATICANO / EXCVDEBAT ANT. SALAMANCA 1548' more at http://www.antiquariaatvandersteur.nl/Webwinkel-Product-131297423/The-Last-Judgement.html