- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 14th opening
left (1898,1123.3(14) verso) and right-hand page (1898,1123.3(15) recto) with a cavalry charge of naked horsemen towards a portico by which a group of men examine the wounds of a combatant c. 1535
Pen and brown ink, grey wash, over black chalk, on vellum
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- Although Bober could not find any specific prototype for this composition she believes that it could be a very free adaptation of one of the cavalry charges from the attic reliefs of the Trajan sections of the Arch of Constantine (P.P. Bober-R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986, no. 158, p. 191, ), which Aspertini had previously documented in the Codex Wolfegg (ff. 32v-36, 39v-41), in another drawing in the British Museum, inv. 1905-11-10-3 (Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, cat. dis 14, pp.231-2) and in a drawing in Dosio's Codex Berilonensis, f. 36, see www.census.de, ID 21918). Although it could be said that Aspertini might have combined elements from all of the four reliefs, the free and energetic nature of the drawing makes one wonder whether in this instance he wasn't also looking at artists like Giulio Romano (for drawings with links to a possible trip to Mantua see ff. 1898,1123.3.11 and left-hand pages of 1898,1123.3.13 and 1898,1123.3.36). As noticed by Venturoli (P. Venturoli, 'Amico Aspertini a Gradara', in "Storia dell'Arte", 4, 1969, p. 432), the Battle in Aspertini's fresco cycle at Gradara must be based on antique prototypes and the composition of this drawing is not far from that of the fresco.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 13v-14, pp. 58-9; G. Schweikhart, 'Der Wolfegg Codex. Zeichnungen nach der Antike von Amico Aspertini', London, 1986, p. 88; M. Faietti- D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, under cat. dis. 14, p. 232.
For images of the codex Wolfegg see www.census.de, ID 60826
For a general introduction to the sketchbook see 1898,1123.3.1
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number