Andreani, Andrea

, an eminent engraver, was a native of Mantua; for which reason he frequently added to his name or monogram Intagliat, Mantuano, which has led some to mistake him for Andrew Mantegna. | Others called him Andreassi; and others, from a resemblance in their monograms, have confounded him with Altdorfer. The time of his birth does not appear; but he died in 1623, at a very advanced age. He engraved in wood only, in a peculiar style, distinguished by the name of chiaro-scuro, which is performed with two, three, or more blocks of wood, according to the number of tints required, and these are stamped upon the paper one after another, so as to produce the effect of a washed drawing; but the invention was not his, Hugo da Carpi & Antonio da Trento having preceded him. He carried, however, the mechanical part of the work to a far greater degree of perfection, and we often find in his prints a correct and determined outline. His great merit as an artist is acknowledged by all who are conversant in prints; and his drawing is excellent, executed with great spirit, and in a very masterly style. The heads of his figures, though slight, are characteristic and expressive; and he has displayed great judgment in the management of his various tints. His works are justly considered as admirable transcripts from the sketches of many of the greatest painters.

To this high character it is with regret we add, that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish his prints, from a circumstance that reflects no great honour on him. He procured many other engravings, the works of different masters, and sold the impressions with his own name, after effacing the name of the true artist, to substitute his own with more security. Such are the tricks which artists are sometimes tempted to practise, when they exchange their more honourable employment and rank for that of dealer. 1

1 Strutt’s Dictionary.