- Museum number
Aspertini album (so-called London II):
Folio 5 recto (drawing numbered 9): Standing male and female nudes holding a globe between them, with three other nudes half-length seated
Folio 5 verso (drawing numbered 10): Seated woman with a shield and sword on a throne with a griffin head
Recto: black chalk, pen and black ink, coloured wash, heightened with white (slightly discolored)
Verso: black chalk, coloured wash, heightened with white
- 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.
f. 5 recto (no. 9)
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). It seems that these drawings and, partly, also the first two 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.
The two main figures are holding a spherical object together. The male seen from the back seems to be looking at and referring with his left arm to the winged figure of the previous drawing (miss bound), and the female at the back is looking and pointing towards the recumbent figure lying on the ground (see 1862,0712.397 verso). The figures on the ground line follow on as part of the same composition with the previous drawing as does the leg coming out of the left margin which belongs to the youth on the recto of 1862,0712.397verso (see entry). The gesture and the position of the two figures sitting along the left and right margins would indicate that the narrative was to be continued towards the right, and the figure on the verso of this folio could be the be what they are meant to be looking at.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London 1957, p. 79; M. Faietti - D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena 1995
f. 5 verso (no. 10)
Bober (1957, p. 79) puts this drawing in conjunction with the following ones representing the 'Muses and Liberal Arts' from a 'Tarocchi' series (the so called "Tarocchi del Mantegna", a very successful cycle of engravings elaborated in Ferrara by an anonymous engraver known as Master E. and used for playing cards). She therefore suggests that Aspertini is here antiquizing the representation of 'Philosophia' (normally represented standing; Bartsch XIII.145.35, BM 1842,0806.18). This fits well in with the possibility that this drawing is part of a continuum with the previous sheets (note the similar colouring and the ground line which seems to follow from the recto; see entry) and that, together with ff. 1862,0712.399 and 400, they are all connected with the frescoes in the Castello Isolani at Minerbio (see also introduction under 1862,0712.394).
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