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The Adoration of the Shepherds

Valerio Castello

* 1624 in Genoa † 1659 in Genoa

Etching and drypoint. Size of sheet: c.17.5 x 12 cm.

Literature: Passavant 2 (as Vincenzo Caccianemici, d.1542 in Bologna);

                 Reed and Wallace 12.

A very fine and rich impression with plate tone and wipe marks, enhanced purposely by the artist with thin needle marks over the plate. Trimmed to the borderline left and bottom. Right, trimmed into the image c. 12 mm and with larger margins on the top.  Ours is the only known copy showing the full size of the plate on top.


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Formerly catalogued and believed for a long time to be by a nobleman of Bologna, Caccianemici (d.1542 in Bologna). He is one of the two artists mentioned by Giorgio Vasari (1511 – 1574) as pupils of Parmigianino (1503 – 1540). No painting by this artist has survived. A comparable drawing (formerly attributed to Parmigianino) in reverse to our print, which served as the preparatory drawing, has survived and is now in Oxford (Christ Church)(Byam Shaw 1976. No. 1102) and is now widely believed by Valerio Castello. Our print is signed VCF(ecit).

Also, David Acton in his entry in Italian Etchings of the Renaissance and Baroque mentions that the attribution to Valerio Castello does not seem very convincing to him and firmly attributes this print to Vincenzo Caccianemici. “This rare and beautiful etching gives the viewer a glimpse of what was important to a gifted amateur etcher in the immediate circle of Parmagianino.” (David Acton in Reed / Wallace). 

An exceptional and rare print.


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