- Museum number
'The Florentine Picture-Chronicle' page from the album (recto of 1889,0527.81): Palamedes on the left holding a sword and Talythybius on the right with his hands hidden up his sleeves
Pen and brown ink and brown wash over black chalk
- Production date
- 1470-1475 (circa)
Height: 326 millimetres
Width: 226 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Watermark: Gothic R
As Colvin noted, the figure of Palamedes is derived from Donatello's 'St George'. Palamedes was a proverbially ingenious hero in Greek myth. He was son of Nauplius and said to have invented some of the letters of the alphabet and the game of draughts. When Odysseus tried to avoid his obligation to join in the expedition to Troy by pretending to be mad, Palamedes exposed his deceit. In revenge Odysseus forged a letter purporting to come from king Priam of Troy arranging for Palamedes to betray the Greeks in return for gold. Palamedes was consequently stoned to death by the army. Talythybius was also among the Greek besiegers of Troy as the herald of Agammemnon. He features in the 'Historia Destructionis Troiae' by the 13th-century Sicilian writer Guido delle Colonne describes him as a king, the title given him in the drawing.
Lit.: S. Colvin, 'A Florentine Picture Chronicle', London, 1898; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 274, II, pls. CCXXXVII-CCXLI.
For Popham & Pouncey 1950 entry see 1889,0527.1
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
BM, 'Padua in the 1450s', 1998, no. 16
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Popham & Pouncey 1950
The leaves of the book, in its present state, seem to be numbered 5 to 59 in a seventeenth(?)-century hand; the numbers, in the r.-hand top corner, have in many cases been partly trimmed away. The book was broken up by Ruskin, who was in the habit of lending parts of his books and manuscripts to friends and institutions in which he was interested, with the result that when the Museum purchased it from him in 1889 it contained only 49 folios. Of the remainder, two (1890,0314.1-4. Folios 13 and 14) were presented the next year by the trustees of the Ruskin Museum, Sheffield, and four (1900,0526.1-8. Folios 9, 22, 36, and 47) in 1900 by Ruskin's cousin, Mrs. Arthur Severn; folios 1 to 4 are missing, but there is nothing to indicate that they were not removed before Ruskin acquired the book.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number