- Museum number
Aspertini album (so-called London II):
Folio 41 recto (drawing numbered 81): Elevation of the Belvedere courtyard
Folio 41 verso (drawing numbered 82): View of the exterior of the Pantheon and the Porticus Octaviae
Recto: black chalk with brown and greenish wash, heightened with white (partly discoloured)
Verso: black chalk with brown 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
f. 41 recto (no. 81)
As f. 1862,0712.432r, this drawing refers to an elevation of the eastern corridors of the lower court of the cortile del Belvedere. Ackerman (1954, p. 207), followed by Bober (1957, p. 89), believes this to have been drawn upon the same source used in the so-called Codex Coner by Bernardo della Volpaia (f. 41v; Ackerman cit., fig. 10). He thinks that if Aspertini had sketched it on site he would not have mistaken the pilasters of the second order for half columns, detail appearing also on 1862,0712.432r. Unlike the latter, this drawing does not show any evidence of the incidence of 1531, as if the artist is referring to two different moments in the history of the same structure. Ackerman believes that, as this drawing refers to a stage of the courtyard preceding the major changes made by Sangallo around 1540, it must have been executed before that date, even if it's a copy from another artist, on the basis that it would have been an obsolete copy. This is debatable, as Aspertini could well have referred to the Codex Coner, or its source, regardless of the developments in the Belvedere Courtyard. For further details see Ackerman cit. and Bober 1957, p. 89
Lit.: J.S. Ackerman, 'The Cortile del Belvedere', Città del Vaticano 1954, pp. 21-2, 206 (cat. 17d) and fig. 11; P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London 1957.
f. 41 verso (no. 82)
According to Bober (1957, p. 89) the exterior view of the Pantheon in the upper part of the sheet derives from the same source of the so-called codex Coner by Bernardo della Volpaia in the Soane Museum in London (f. 51v; see www.census.de, ID 205967 ). It is interesting to note Aspertini's lack of interest in the perspective of the columns while copying the Soane drawing or its source, so much that in his drawing the Pantheon seems to have ten rows of columns instead of eight.
Bober observes that also the Porticus of Octavia below is copied in the codex Coner (f. 52r; see www.census.de, ID 205969 ) and again, while the Coner sketchbook drawing is very precise, Aspertini's is much more approximate and free handed, leaving it to interpretation whether the flanking supports are column or pilasters (as they should be).
Lit.: P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London 1957, with previous literature; M. Danieli, in exhib. cat., Reggio Emilia, Palazzo Magnani, 'Piero della Francesca: Il disegno tra arte e scienza', 2015, pp. 335-6, no. III.26, illustrated p. 176.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
2015 Mar-Jun, Reggio Emilia, Palazzo Magnani, 'Piero della Francesca'
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number