The Portland Vase, £5.00
Height: 278.000 mm
Width: 202.000 mm
Prints and Drawings
Parmigianino, Figures in a Ferry Boat, a drawing
Parma, Italy, AD 1530-40
In this ordinary scene, an oarsman pushes the boat off the bank with his long oar. In the boat on the left is a young traveller, with the left leg of another man just visible. At his feet, in the foreground, is a large wheel. On the right is the larger figure of another young man, the head of another man just visible over his shoulder. Watching from the bank is a group of figures with animals. The low viewpoint gives the viewer a sense of being a passenger in the boat.
It is unclear whether Parmigianino drew this scene from life. The difficult pose of the ferryman suggests that the artist recalled the scene in his head.
The scene is drawn in
pen and brown ink with brown wash. The shadows are represented by
Francesco Mazzola is better known as Parmigianino, ('little Parmesan'), that is from the north Italian city of Parma. In a career of only twenty years, he was a prolific and compulsive drawer in a variety of techniques. Often he drew scenes from everyday life and not just preparatory studies for paintings. This was not the usual practice of other contemporary artists.
A.E. Popham, Italian drawings in the Depart (London, The British Museum Press, 1967)
M. Royalton-Kisch, H. Chapman and S. Coppel, Old Master drawings from the M, exh. cat. (London, The British Museum Press, 1996)
D. DeGrazia, Correggio and his legacy: sixt, exh. cat. (National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1984)