- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 17th opening
left (1898,1123.3(17) verso) and right-hand page (1898,1123.3(18) recto) with statues in the Vatican: the Tiber: the sleeping Ariadne (left-hand page); and the Laocoon (right-hand page) c. 1535
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk, on vellum rubbed unevenly with black chalk
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- All three groups of this opening were found in the Belvedere Courtyard in the Vatican during the Renaissance. The figure on the top of left-end page is from the statue of the Tiber today in the Louvre (Bober-Rubinstein no. 66, p. 103, see www.census.de, ID 15252) excavated in January 1512 in Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome and shortly after taken by Julius II to the Belvedere Courtyard, where it was then joined by its counterpart, the River Nile (see 1898,1123.3.15). The same subject is found in a drawing by Aspertini in New York (Faietti-Scaglietti, cat. dis. 94, pp. 308-9), on f. 20v of London II (1862,0712.413) and, in reverse, on f. 34 (1862,0712.427). According to Scaglietti, the posture of the River god (as that of the left-hand page of 1898,1123.3.15) has been mutuated by Aspertini for the figure of the Madonna in the 'Madonna and Child with Saint Joseph' in Bologna, Galleria Fondantico (see Faietti-Scaglietti, p. 193, under cat. dip. 46). The statue of the Sleeping Ariadne was in the Belvedere Courtyard since 1512 (Bober-Rubinstein no. 79, p. 114, see www.census.de, ID 152103). Bober believes that Aspertini might have drawn the figure before the restoration of her right hand and parts of the drapery. Another more finished and accurate drawing of the statue by Aspertini is found in the British Museum (1905-11-10-1). The Laocoon (www.census.de, ID 15231) on the right-hand page shows the right arm bent with hand on head and no snakes. According to Bober and Rubinstein, followed by Faietti, it's either an exaggeration of the pose created by Bandinelli's wax arm, or an independent "restoration" by Aspertini which anticipates the modern restoration of Magi with the original arm (Bober-Rubinstein, no. 122, p. 154; Faietti-Scaglietti 1995, pp. 70 and 76, n.114). This latter suggestion seems the more probable, if we believe that the Apollo recorded on 1898,1123.3.15 was drawn after Montorsoli's restoration of 1532-33 (see entry and the introduction under 1898.1123.3.1; see also Faietti-Scaglietti, pp. 70 and 76, n.112 and Settis et al., 'La colonna Traiana', Turin, 1988, p. 573).
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 16v-17, pp. 14, 61; P.P. Bober-R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986, under nos. 66, 79, 122; M. Faietti- D. Scaglietti Kelescian , 'Amico Aspertini', Modena, 1995, under cat. dis. 94, pp. 308-9; L. Rebaudo, "Il braccio mancante. I restauri del Laoconte (1506-1957)", Trieste 2007, p. 47 and fig. 20.
For a general introduction to the sketchbook see 1898,1123.3.1
- Not on display
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number