The Omen of the Future Greatness of Emperor Augustus

Giulio Bonasone
active 1531 -1574
The Omen of the Future Greatness of Emperor Augustus
202 x 267 mm

Fine impression, the plate rich in wipe marks.

In fine condition, printed on laid paper with watermark Three mountains surmounted by a four-leaf clover similar to Briquet 11915.

This print depicts an early premonition of Augustus’s future greatness, as foreseen by his father in a dream. Suetonius recounts he had dreamt that his son had appeared to him as a demigod, wearing a radiant crown and mounted on a chariot drawn by snow-white horses. At night the infant Augustus was put to bed by his nurse. His cradle was on the ground floor, but by the next morning he had disappeared. After a long search he was found lying on a tall tower, gazing at the rising sun. The print shows the infant staring up at the image of a youthful god on a chariot, while the bystanders are both shocked by his disappearance and terrified by the divine prophetic vision. 
A drawing by Giulio Romano linked to this engraving is preserved in the Royal Collections of Windsor Castle (RCIN 990308).

Another fine example of this print, showing similar scratches on the plate, is preserved at the British Museum in London (Museum number H,7.109).

Price: 2,850.00 €

A painter, engraver and etcher from Bologna, Bonasone was active in Bologna and Rome. He made prints after Michelangelo, Raphael, Parmigianino, Polidoro da Caravaggio, Perino, Giulio Romano, and Titian. He also created prints from his own designs of mythological and devotional subjects. His plates were published by Salamanca, Barlacchi and Lafreri. Bonasone's important print series include the Amorosi diletti degli Dei, the Passio Domini Nostri Iesu Christi and the Amori, sdegni e gelosie di Giunone.

Other works of the master