- Museum number
Andrea Doria in the guise of Neptune; whole-length, almost nude, looking to right, holding a trident with his right hand and a dolphin in his l, sword and shawl hanging behind him
Pen and brown ink
- Production date
- 1529 (circa)
Height: 427 millimetres
Width: 275 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Related to a commission from the Genoese state for a collosal statue of the Genoese admiral Andrea Doria (1466-1560) who was to be portrayed in the guise of Neptune. It is thought this drawing relates to Bandinelli's work on the first bronze version of the work commissioned in December 1528. In the 1529 contract the material was changed to marble, both for economy and to suit Bandinelli's preference for it. The work was abandoned in 1538, and all that remains of it is the pedastal in the Louvre, Paris and the roughed out group of the admiral standing on a pair of dolphins (Carrara, Piazza del Duomo).
A hitherto unknown finished pen and drawing for the project by Bandinelli showing Admiral Doria in armour with a kneeling nude prisoner at his feet was sold in Le Havre 25 January 2020.
Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 116; D. Heikamp, 'In margine alla 'Vita di Baccio Bandinelli' del Vasari', "Paragone", 1966, XVII, p. 54, fig. 3; R.B. Ward, 'A Catalogue of the Drawings by Baccio Bandinelli in the Department of Prints and Drawings in the British Museum' (M.A. Report, May 1978, Courtauld Institute, University of London), no. 20; N. Turner, in exhib. cat., BM, 'Florentine drawings of the sixteenth century', 1986, no. 87 (with previous literature); R. Ward, in exhib. cat., Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 'Baccio Bandinelli: Drawings from British Collections', 1988, no. 29
Turner, Florentine Drawings of the Sixteenth Century, London, 1986
Robinson believed this finished presentation drawing to be Bandinelli's design for the fountain of 'Neptune' in the Piazza Signoria in Florence, which the artist was commissioned to erect in 1559, shortly before his death; it was eventually carried out by another Florentine sculptor, Bartolommeo Ammanati (1511-92). Wilde, on the other hand, associated it with the commission by the Genoese State to erect a colossal statue in honour of its hero, the famous Genoese admiral Andrea Doria (1466-1560), who was to be portrayed there as Neptune. It is now generally agreed that the drawing reflects the design of the modello for the first, bronze version, commissioned in December 1528. Bandinelli's work on the statue, which according to a contract of 1529, was now to be executed in marble, was beset with difficulties and was never actually brought to completion.
Bandinelli has represented the features of Andrea Doria in the statue and has turned to Michelangelo's marble figure of 'David' for the pose. The high degree of finish, which is not typical of a working drawing, seems to suggest that 1895,0915.553 may have been intended as a design for a print. Another drawing by Bandinelli for the 'Neptune', closely related to the British Museum drawing, is in the Louvre (inv. no. 190).
Literature: JCR 116; P & W, under no. 81; D. Heikamp, Paragone, xvii, 1966, no. 191, p. 54; M. CiardiDuprè, Commentari, xvii, 1966, p. 169, n. 36; Ward, no. 20.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986, BM, Florentine Drawings 16thC, no. 87
1988 May-Jul, Cambridge, Fitzwilliam Museum, 'Bandinelli', no. 29
1992 Oct-Dec, UEA, 'Florentine Drawings' (no cat.)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number