Nuremberg 1500–1550 Frankfurt
Triumphal Procession of the Noble Glorious Women, 1549. Engraving. 24 x 137 mm, thread margins. Reference Hollstein 244, II/III
A very fine impression in excellent condition. Complete, without restoration and evenly printed.
Notes from the MFA, Boston…..Here, sprightly horses pull a carriage bearing a semi-nude couple crowned with laurel wreaths. They are accompanied by fully-clothed woman carrying symbols of glory: torches, palm fronds, and trophies. A woman blowing a trumpet leads the way. To the rear are male warriors on horse and on foot. The wagon itself has an elaborate classicizing design that seems part chariot and part boat.
Though the subject is clearly identified by an inscription, it is unclear if Beham intended a direct literary reference. The print may draw on the idea of the nine worthy women of the Old and New Testaments and the pagan era. It seems to place femininity in a more positive light than Lucas van Leyden did in his earlier series on the power of women.