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Artistic period 1551 to 1600




1520 (Mantova)


1582 (Mantova)


Giorgio Ghisi (called Giorgio Mantovano, * 1520 in Mantua; † 15. December 1582 ibid.) was an Italian engraver and Tausiator.

His work, about 70 mostly large-format copper engravings, is characterized by a very developed technique, which he uses for mannerist shaping.

The training of Giorgio Ghisis is assumed to have taken place in Giulio Romano's environment and his works for the Palazzo del Te in Mantua, especially with Giovanni Battista Scultori, who probably taught him the graphic techniques. Soon after 1540 Ghisis produced his earliest copper engravings (first dated 1543). 1546-49 Ghisis worked in Rome on engravings after models of local painters (Francesco Salviati, Perino del Vaga and Michelangelo). In 1550 he went to Antwerp, where Hieronymus Cock, whom he had met in Rome, printed four important prints that conveyed Roman Mannerism to the Flemish art scene: The School of Athens after Raphael (1550), The Last Supper after Lambert Lombard (1551), the Disputa after Raphael (1552) and the Birth of Christ after Agnolo Bronzino (1554). Conversely, Ghisi was inspired by Dutch graphic art, which is particularly evident in his landscape elements. He also became a member of the Antwerp Lukasgilde.

155556 and between 1558 and 1559 Ghisi was in Paris and Fontainebleau, where other Italian artists under the direction of Francesco Primaticcio also worked for the king. Under their influence his iconography became allegorically enriched and more complex, e.g. in the allegory of life, the so-called dream of Raphael (1562). Between 1562 and 1564 he returned to Mantua, where he reproduced the Last Judgement of Michelangelo in ten engraving plates. The time and place of origin of the sybilles and prophets, also after Michelangelo's painting of the Sistine Chapel, is controversial.

In 1573 he must have been in Paris, in 157475 again in Rome (Man of Sorrows and depictions of Mary). After 1576 he remained at the court of the Gonzaga in Mantua, where he published his last dated copper engraving in 1578.

During the Antwerp period, exchange works on damasked splendor shields took place, the decoration of a sword blade is dated 1570.