In 1664, on or around this day, Italian engraver and draftsman Stefano Della Bella died in his hometown of Florence. He worked in Paris under the name Etienne de la Belle from 1640-49, a period in which he also was active in the Netherlands. Over 1,000 prints are attributed to him as well as several thousand drawings. Today he is recognized as one of Italy’s best etchers. His images of battles, sieges, harbors, festivals, and theatrical presentations teem with tiny figures, vividly capturing daily life in the Baroque era.
Reference: Phyllis Dearborn Massar. “Bella, Stefano della.” Grove Art Online. Oxford Art Online. Oxford University Press.
Portrait of Stefano Della Bella by Carlo Dolci
Death on the Battlefield, pen and brown ink, gray and brown wash over black pencil and red chalk, squaring with black pencil, Vienna: Albertina
Elephant from Diversi animali, ca. 1641, etching, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Grace M. Pugh, 1985
Seated Pilgrims and a Peasant, from Caprices made by della Bella (Caprice faict par de la Bella), plate 6, c. 1642, etching, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Phyllis Massar, 2011
Naval battle, a rowboat filled with people fighting with muskets to left, people drowning in the sea in the center and right foreground, a ship on its side and burning in the background, from ‘Peace and War’ (Divers desseins tant pour la paix que pour la guerre), ca. 1638-43, etching, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Bequest of Phyllis Massar, 2011