- Museum number
Page from Vasari's 'Libro de' disegni': Allegorical Scene (attributed by Vasari to Carpaccio); a nude couple standing with devilish figures behind, monumental border with portrait of Carpaccio mounted above
Pen and grey-brown ink, mount in pen and brown ink, with brown wash, over black chalk
- Production date
Height: 214 millimetres
Height: 571 millimetres
Width: 190 millimetres (drawing approx)
Width: 442 millimetres (whole sheet)
- Curator's comments
- Attributed to Carpaccio by Vasari, who affixed the portrait of this artist to the mount (woodcut by C Coriolano as in the 1568 edition of the 'Lives', but with different border) and inscribed the date 1495 below the drawing. The drawing has nothing to do with Carpaccio, Popham and Pouncey took up Berenson's idea that it was by Signorelli but felt it was the work of a follower rather than an original by that artist.
Lit.: J.C. Robinson, 'Descriptive Catalogue of Drawings by the Old Masters, forming the Collection of John Malcolm of Poltalloch, Esq.', London, 1876, no. 360 (as Ascribed to Vittore Carpaccio); B. Berenson, 'The Drawings of the Florentine Painters', Chicago, 1938, II, no. 2509 E-5, p. 333; A.E. Popham and P. Pouncey, 'Italian drawings in the BM, the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries', London, 1950, I, no. 249 (with previous literature), II, pl. CCXI; H. Wohl, 'The Eye of Vasari', "Mitteilungen des Kunsthistorischen Institutes in Florenz", 1986, 30, pp. 544ff and p. 559; C. Van Cleave, 'Luca Signorelli as a Draughtsman', unpublished D.Phil. diss., Oxford, 1995, no. D11, pp. 217-18.
Popham & Pouncey 1950
Attributed to Carpaccio by Vasari, who affixed the portrait of this artist to the mount (woodcut by C. Coriolano as in the 1568 edition of the 'Lives', but with different border) and inscribed the date 1495 below the drawing. Robinson was inclined to believe it to be by Lorenzo Costa, Borenius (loc. cit.) called it Umbro-Filippinesque, and Kurz (loc. cit.) gave it to Matteo Balducci (an attribution which he has now abandoned). Berenson, in the second edition of his 'Florentine Drawings', ascribed it to Signorelli himself, but admitted that the touch was "rather niggling". The connection with Signorelli seems to us indisputable, but we do not believe that the drawing is from the artist's own hand: the brittleness of the forms, the insipid smiles, and the claw-like hands betray an artist distinct from the master. Berenson, who for no particular reason calls the old man on the 1. "Father Time", but otherwise offers no explanation of the subject-matter, connects the present drawing with one in the Uffizi (BB 2509 D-5), by a different hand, but which seems, like our drawing, to have been originally composed as a circular composition, and which also contains a satyr.
We cannot suggest any explanation of the subject; nor does Panofsky (loc. cit.), who does not discuss the iconography.
Literature: JCR 360; BB 2509E-5; T. Borenius, Vasari Society, Second Series, viii (1927), 1; E. Panofsky, Städel-Jahrbuch, vi (1930), p. 34, fig. 29; O. Kurz, O.M.D., xii (1937/8), p. 15. pl. 9.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986, BM, '16th Century Florentine Drawings', no.143
1992 Oct-Dec, Norwich, Univ of East Anglia, 'Florentine Drawings' (no cat.)
1996 Feb-Apr, Tokyo, Nat Mus Western Art, Italian Drawings/BM, no.23
1996 Apr-May, Nagoya, Aichi Pref Mus of Art, Italian Drawings/BM, no.23
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Owned by an anonymous French collector, Pierre Crozat? Inscribed on Vasari mount: "Anno 1495" and "Du Cabinet de Giorgio Vasari & monte par lui même."
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number