Prudence, Parmigianino. Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola, Italian.
Allegorical print shows a woman as Prudence, one of the cardinal virtues, seated with left elbow resting on left knee, looking to the left into a mirror which she is holding in her right hand; with a large urn on her left.
Title from Graphic sampler / compiled by Renata V. Shaw, Prints and Photographs Division. Washington : Library of Congress, 1979, pp. 24-28.
Printed from a woodblock by the workshop of Vicentino after a design by Parmigianino.
From Marsh Collection.
Printmaking in woodcut and engraving came to Northern Italy within a few decades of their invention north of the Alps. Engraving probably came first to Florence in the 1440s, the goldsmith Maso Finiguerra (1426–64) used the technique. Italian engraving caught the very early Renaissance, 1460–1490. Print copying was a widely accepted practice, as well as copying of paintings viewed as images in their own right.