Peregrino da Cesena (Italian, active Bologna ca. 1490–1520)
plate 2 1/16 x 1 3/16 in. (5.2 x 3 cm)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1928 (28.97.99)
The earliest known Italian engravings are niello prints, impressions made on paper of small, incised silver plaques that, once the grooves were inlaid with a dark, enamel-like alloy, decorated household and liturgical objects. Originally used by goldsmiths to check work in progress, the prints soon became an end in themselves. Peregrino was one of the artists who engraved metal plates in the same style and at the same scale as the niello plaques specifically in order to create printed images.