After Unknown Maker, Italian
Knot Pattern (The Fifth Knot)
The Fifth Knot
Plate: 26.4 x 19.8 cm (10 3/8 x 7 13/16 inches)
Signature / Inscription / Marks
Marks: Vincent Mayer collector mark in brown ink on verso (lugt 2525).Alfred Morrison collector mark in black ink on verso (lugt 151).Unidentified mark in violet on verso (lugt 2368b).British Museum Printroom collector mark in black ink on verso (lugt 305 & 303).HANDBOOK: The word portrayed in the center of this elaborate engraving---"Vi(n)ci"---may allude to two things---the birthplace of the artist Leonardo da Vinci and the Latin verb vincire, 'to bind.' Da Vinci probably created the design for the print, one of six knot patterns associated with him and subsequently engraved by an unknown artist. The knot pattern held a theoretical interest for Da Vinci and his artistic coterie in Mantua. A knot conveyed both clarity and complexity while providing an elegant metaphor for the concept of infinity. Da Vinci also revered the circle as the most perfect geometric shape. The intricate, dark background of the engraving required the engraver to cut the plate with painstakingly dense hatching.
Credit / Object Number
Museum Works of Art Fund
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