Angelo Falconetto after Parmigianino, Bellona, Goddess of War

Artist | Angelo Falconetto (1504–1567) after Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, called Parmigianino (1503–1540)
Title | Bellona, Goddess of War 
Date | 1555–1567 
Medium | Etching and engraving on blue paper 
Dimensions | 268 x 179 mm 
Institution | Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Credit line | The Muriel and Philip Berman Gift, acquired from the John S. Phillips bequest of 1876 to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, with funds contributed by Muriel and Philip Berman, gifts (by exchange) of Lisa Norris Elkins, Bryant W. Langston, Samuel S. White 3rd and Vera White, with additional funds contributed by John Howard McFadden, Jr., Thomas Skelton Harrison, and the Philip H. and A.S.W. Rosenbach Foundation, 1985.  
Theme | Antiquity, Mythology and Allegory
Museum number | 1985-52-25755 

The present work is a rare example of one of Angelo Falconetto’s (1504–1567) prints on blue paper, after a composition by Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, known as Parmigianino (1503–1540). By the end of the quattrocento, Venice and the terraferma were eagerly embracing the technology of printing, and Falconetto was one of the earliest Italian printmakers to use blue paper as a medium. Often depicting landscapes and figures through print, Falconetto was greatly influenced by Parmigianino’s Mannerist imagery. This engraving and etching depicts a mythological subject, the goddess Bellona, standing over armour and wearing her characteristic plumed helmet, classical skirted armour and breastplate, and carrying a sword. Occasionally, she is associated with Victory and is portrayed carrying a statue of Victory in her hand. The subject and style of this print is also comparable to Parmigianino’s drawing, Standing Female Figure in Armor Drawing Her Sword (Minerva or Bellona) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This comparison is evident in the mythological subject manner and her portrayal, and the similar use of bold, curved hatching. Falconetto’s hatching technique seems to create more tonal depth than that of Parmigianino, especially in the armour, due to the former’s use of blue paper.