Toledo Museum Home

The Dramatic Image: Baroque Prints of the 17th Century

John Barra
Dutch, 1581–1634
After Nicasius Rousseel
Flemish, active 1570–1620

A Grotesque Panel

Engraving, 1623
Gift of Geoffrey R. Bennett, 1962.43

In this print a fantastical stem sprouts from the body of a composite beast and arcs upward, resulting in a flower-like structure from which a stamen, perhaps, arises and forms the lower part of another imaginary bird-headed creature.The engraving is taken from a series of 12 prints with foliage and grotesque figures dedicated to the Scottish goldsmith George Heriot (1563–1624). The designer of the series was Nicasius Rousseel, a goldsmith from Bruges who settled in London around 1573. This print is perhaps a design for decoration for a silver flagon (wine container). The same composition, reversed, would be engraved on the back side of the rounded vessel, creating a continuous composition.