- Museum number
Aspertini album (so-called London II):
Folio 4 recto (drawing numbered 7): A standing male nude with one arm on his hip facing forward, the other arm on a staff, with a female nude to the left; a seated male figure with mantle
Folio 4 verso (drawing numbered 8): Arcangel (?) with a helmet in the air above a male nude lying on the ground; a seated nude with mantle at lower right
Recto and verso: black chalk, pen and black ink, coloured wash, heightened with white (partly discoloured)
- Production date
Height: 219 millimetres
Width: 159 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- For comment on the album to which this sheet belongs, see 1862,0712.394. This page has been misbound before folio 3.
f. 4 recto (no. 7)
According to Faietti the figures in the foreground of ff. 3, 4 and 5 (1862,0712.396-398) are close to the solutions adopted for the frescoes in the 'Sala di Ercole' in the Castello Isolani at Minerbio (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, under cat. dip. 49, p. 202). Also, as the females on these sheets can be interpreted as figures of Venus, it could well be that some of these drawings have also a connection with the frescoes in another room at Minerbio, the 'Sala di Marte', considering the two deities are often represented together (the frescoes have been recently restored, but some are lost). Bober (1957, p. 78) points out that the female figure on the present drawing is again in the pose of a 'Venus Pudica'.
Faietti suggests that the seated shepherd in the background can be compared to f. 1862,0712.394 recto and to a drawing in the Uffizi (Faietti-Scaglietti, cat. 95, pp. 309-10). Like the seated figure on the verso of this drawing, it is also reminiscent of Michelangelo's Ignudi in the Sistine Chapel. It is obvious that Aspertini drew this figure last, as it covers the staff on which the main male is leaning on, to the extend that the artist decides to cover up even the bottom part of it with a black brush stroke.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London 1957; M. Faietti - D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena 1995, fig. 46, p. 66
f. 4 verso (no. 8)
As suggested by Bober (1957, p. 78), the main figure could be an Archangel and the theme maybe escatological. It is on the other hand, both in style and colours, also very reminiscent of that of 'Mars' at the centre of the frescoed ceiling of the Sala di Marte in the Castello Isolani in Minerbio, so it may be a pagan representation instead. As the present sheet has been miss bound, it is not possible to look at this drawing together with the recto of 1862,0712.398, but it is obvious that the two once formed one whole composition. The recumbent figure on the ground, whose position is reminiscent of a classical river God, seems to be recoiling before the winged one. The latter is indicating down towards the lower figures of the other half of the composition. Bober suggests that the youthful male figure seated in profile is inspired by Michelangelo's 'Ignudi' of the Sistine Chapel. The missing leg of this figure is found on the recto of 1898,0712.398. The nude on the ground is also reminiscent of some of the solution adopted by Beccafumi in his marble 'tarsie' on Siena's Cathedral floor.
It seems that ff. 1862,0712.396-398 and, partly, also the first two sheets of the book, could be part of the same project, or at least have a common inspiration. Note the consistency in colours and style and the general pattern, which includes main figures in the foreground and secondary ones seated on a continuous ground line in the background. It is plausible that the project in question was the Minerbio fresco cycle.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London 1957
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number