- Museum number
Aspertini sketch-book (so-called London I): 28th opening
left (1898,1123.3(28) verso) and right-hand page (1898,1123.3(29) recto) with scene from Trajan's Column: Dacians drowning in the Danube c. 1535
Pen and brown ink, over black chalk, on vellum
- Production date
Height: 248 millimetres
Width: 184 millimetres (each page)
- Curator's comments
- The composition on this opening derives from scene no. XXXI, 73-75 of Trajan's column (K. Lehmann-Hartleben, 'Die Trajanssäule', Berlin and Leipzig, 1926 and Settis et al, 'La colonna Traiana', Turin, 1988, no. 38). As Bober observes it was a popular composition in the Renaissance. Unlike most other renderings of scenes from Trajan's column in the sketch-book, in this one Aspertini doesn't try to cram into it most of the figures present on the column, on the contrary he omits all the soldiers on land that are trying to rescue the drowning ones and expands the distance between the figures in the water. Despite this he does not loose the dramatic sense of the episode and one dares say that in this case Aspertini is more successful in conveying it than in any of the other sheets where he has tried to be faithful to the original by fitting most of the figures in, but without engaging the viewer into the drama of the particular scene. For other sheets with scenes from Trajan's Column see ff. 1898,1123.3.2, 1898,1123.3.5,1898,1123.3.6, 1898,1123.3.8, 1898,1123.3.10, 1898,1123.3.23-25, 1898,1123.3.27-34, 1898,1123.3.41 [Bober 5v-6, 7v-8, 9v-10, 22v-25, 26v-35, 41v-42]; and Codex Wolfegg ff. 9, 9v, 18v, 19 (base), 22v, 37v-38, 38v-39 (see G. Schweikhart, 'Der Wolfegg Codex. Zeichnungen nach der Antike von Amico Aspertini', London, 1986). For general comments on Aspertini and Trajan's Column see Bober 1957, pp. 30-2, Agosti and Farinella 1984, pp. 403-6 and Settis et al, cit., pp. 556-61, 572-4.
Lit.: P.P. Bober, 'Drawings after the Antique by Amico Aspertini. Sketchbooks in the British Museum', London, 1957, f. 27v-28, pp. 32, 66; G. Agosti-V. Farinella, 'Calore del marmo. Pratica e Tipologia delle deduzioni iconografiche', in "Memoria dell'antico nell'arte italiana", a cura di S. Settis, I, 'L'uso dei classici', Turin, 1984, p. 406, n.11; P. Bober - R. Rubinstein, 'Renaissance Artists and Antique Sculpture', New York, 1986, under no. 159.
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