Antonio Pollaiuolo (1429/33-98)
'The Battle of Nude Men' (also known as The Gladiators)
Museum no. CAI 793
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides
This is one of the largest and most technically accomplished early Italian engravings. Even in Ionides' day, it was a rarity. Although this is a rather late, worn impression, it was a prize of his collection. The complex scene shows Pollaiuolo's skill in composition, acquired through a study of classical relief sculpture, and his unusually advanced understanding of anatomy
This was bought by Ionides from Goupil in 1882 for £75 with a group of prints by Mantegna.