Giacomo Piccini or Pecini (c. 1617 - 1669) was an engraver active in Venice. Brother of Guglielmo and father of Sister Isabella, both engravers. Thieme-Becker records several portraits engraved by Pecini or Piccini, often published by Scolari. This print, based on an invention by Paul Rubens, depicts Salome, Herod, Herod and only the head of the Baptist. The Baptist is one of the prophets of the Old Testament, the first Apostle of Jesus, a hermit and preacher who baptised his disciples in the waters of the Jordan near the confluence of the Dead Sea. The biblical story is well known: Herod, disturbed by Salome's sensual dance, promises to satisfy any of her desires. Salome then, to please her mother Herodias, asks to have on a tray the head of John the Baptist, already in prison for having previously dared to condemn Herod's behaviour. The scene takes place in the darkness of the prison, the figures stand out from the background characterised by a column and a window with bars. Through a game of glances they try to involve the spectator, only Salome's is unconscious. The clothes of the three characters are richly and skilfully described; the hairstyles refined, the jewellery and the armour glittering. The Baptist's head also has a pained look, from the half-open eye the pupil is turned towards the viewer. In addition to the image, the title and signatures 'P.P. Rubens pinx', 'Stefano Scolari forma' and 'I. Pecini ... Venetiis' are engraved in the lower white margin. It can be guessed that there must have been an inscription before Venetiis, now deleted. The indication of the printer is blacker than the other inscriptions, so this is a copy in a later state than the first one. The exemplar in the MET, in fact, bears the inscription "J. Pecini sculp et excudit Venetiis". Therefore the present copy is in the second state, without the excudit by Piccini and with the address of Scolari, a Brescian printer active in Venice since 1660. Very good impression. Good condition except for a few visible stains mostly on the verso and a restoration along the horizontal fold. Wide margins beyond the copper plate. Bibliography: A. Tradigo, Icone e Santi d'Oriente, Milan 2004, p. 115; A. Giachery, Stefano Mozzi Scolari "stampatore e miniatore di stampe di rame" nella Venezia del Seicento: vita, attività, eredi, Perugia 2012, pp. 93-95, 97-101
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