The account which has come down to us is that Mantegna began engraving in Rome, prompted by the engravings produced by Baccio Baldini of Florence after Sandro Botticelli; nor is there anything positive to invalidate this account, except the consideration that it would consign all the numerous and elaborate engravings made by Mantegna to the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life, which seems a scanty space for them, and besides the earlier engravings indicate an earlier period of his artistic style.
Some recent connoisseurs, however, ask us to restrict to seven the number of his genuine extant engravings - which appears unreasonable.
Several of his engravings are supposed to be executed on some metal less hard than copper.
Armillary spheres occur in many old sculptures, paintings and engravings; and from these sources we know that they were made for suspension, for resting on the ground or on a table, for holding by a short handle, or either for holding or for resting on a stand.
The museum includes 3300 books, many being of the 15th and 16th centuries, a department of engravings, a Virginia Room with portraits and relics, some tapestries, an excellent collection of casts and valuable American archaeological specimens.
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